Monday, October 29, 2007

Florida Democratic Party Convention

I thought it would be handy to have a roundup of what's been written about the Florida Democratic Party Convention:

The L.A. Times declares: Florida Democratic convention a bust

They base this assertion on the fact that, other than Mike Gravel, none of the Democratic Presidential Candidates showed up. So a state party that actually spends its convention focusing on its state elected officials is a failure? Pfft!

The Associated Press has a different headline: Fla. Dems Rally Despite Candidates' Snub

I know I had a good time without them.

In USA Today: Fla. Dems hope to boost '08 nominee despite infighting

In the article, there's this interesting passage:

Nelson said Iowa is set to announce that it will move its caucuses to Jan. 3, and that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean should relent on the penalties now imposed on states defying rules of both parties requiring them to wait until Feb. 5 to choose delegates.

State party chairwoman Karen Thurman predicted that the party's nominee, who will be unofficial but probably known by mid-February, will unite the party in Denver next summer by seating all delegates. She and Nelson also said Democratic candidates will be back in Florida before Jan. 29, despite the "four-state pledge" to let Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada go first.

Okay, well I do think that the presumptive nominee, who traditionally is in charge of the nominating convention, will seat all the delegates. I'm not as confident that the candidates will violate their "pledge" and campaign here before January 29th - although if the leader at that point decides to do so the rest will follow.

By the way, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee did vote:

... to hold the Iowa caucus on January 14th, the Nevada caucus thereafter, the New Hampshire primary on January 22nd, and the South Carolina primary no earlier than January 29th. The window officially opens on February 5th.

According to the Associated Press Iowa Democrats have moved their caucus date to January 3rd. So, doesn't that mean they're in violation of the rules too?

The St. Petersburg Times reports: Dems upbeat at convention and also points out that there were quite a few delegates who weren't too happy with the DNC and wore buttons admonishing Howard Dean.

For the record, I don't have a problem with Howard Dean. I believe both sides were in a difficult position. Florida wants to have a larger role in the primary process due to its diversity and the fact that candidates come here to raise money only to spend it in Iowa and New Hampshire. The DNC, on the other hand, has these rules that all state parties agreed to follow and had to do something to try to stem the tide of states rushing to be first.

The News-Press has an interesting article stating: Florida Democrats still called influential

Florida may not have any Democratic delegates at the party’s national convention next year, but it will have a huge influence in choosing the eventual nominee, political strategists said Sunday at the state party convention.

It goes on to say:

It will still be a prize for the victor.

“This is a state where the person coming in second or third in the first four states can come in first and change the whole thing around,” said Robin Rorapaugh, who has worked with several Florida politicians.

People often talk about how the results in Iowa and New Hampshire shape the outcome of the races in the states that follow them. Well, it seems reasonable that doing well in Florida would also have a substantial impact. Delegates or not, the outcome in Florida is going to get lots of news coverage right before Super Tuesday on February 5th. In the past, Floridians voted in March after the big Super Tuesday election so that by the time we got to vote the presumptive nominee was pretty much already decided.

Apparently, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, as I was driving back home from the Orlando on Sunday there was an attempt to oust Chairwoman Thurman. It had to do with her handling of the Florida Primary mess. The attempt failed.