Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Democrats make calendar recommendations

Dems calendar commission reports

The Democratic Party's nomination "reform" commission promised a report by the end of the year, and late today it quietly arrived.

The big story, at least according to Politico's headline, is "Dems move to sack superdelegates." Not entirely true... but they'd no longer be automatic or unpledged. Instead they'd be "National Pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials" and allocated by preference group.

Which, of course, matters little in 2012; it's hard yet to imagine a scenario where anyone mounts a serious primary challenge to Obama, especially with his main potential rival on the team and safely occupied at the State Department. Oh, sure, Dennis Kucinich will run again, especially if he gets screwed in redistricting with Ohio set to lose representation. But I don't expect him to be over the 15% needed to win a delegate anywhere. So the real fight will be who gets to go to the big party, I mean convention, which will almost certainly be in Chicago (Obama's consolation prize for losing the Olympics to Brazil).

The big question, of course, is what's in it for us Iowans? Well, probably still a first out of the gate date, but muuuuch later than the insane January 3 we had in 2008. The new rules say nothing before February 1st, and only four states before March 12.

Next month's Saturday (1/23) caucus is supposedly part of the deal, a bone thrown to Hillary Clinton's argument that a weeknight discourages attendance. That'd put us on Saturday 2/4/2012, with New Hampshire probably Tuesday 2/12, Nevada Saturday 2/17 and South Carolina on Tuesday 2/19.

The million dollar question: will the GOP cooperate? What if Iowa Republicans start playing leapfrog and land on January 21 or 14? Which takes precedent: Iowa's 30 year tradition of the parties going on the same date, or the Democratic Party rules?

UPDATE: David Chung at Hawkeye GOP notes that the Dems moved from Saturday 1/5 to Thursday 1/3 in response to the GOP; I remember talking to Leon Mosley at an October `07 McCain event and having him be very firm on that point... Chung predicts a Tuesday night in January for Republicans.

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