The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party maintains a weekend decision by his party will not give hope to states that want to leapfrog over Iowa and New Hampshire and hold events first in the next presidential election.
The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee has voted to seat all delegates from Florida and Michigan at the party’s national convention, but give each of those delegates half a vote. Michigan, as you may recall, moved its primary up this year, so the Iowa Caucuses were moved to January 3rd to ensure Iowa was first in the 2008 presidential campaign season. Florida moved its primary ahead, too, hoping to get more attention from the candidates.
Iowa Democratic Party chairman Scott Brennan says Saturday’s decision, in his view, ends the argument about Michigan and Florida’s delegates — despite threats that the Clinton campaign will appeal. "I’m hopeful that she respects the decision of the (Rules and Bylaws Committee) in this matter because, you know, it was not an easy decision," Brennan says. Brennan is a "super" delegate who announced in mid-May that he would cast his convention vote for Barack Obama.
Democratic Party officials from Iowa and New Hampshire had backed a previous party verdict which said none of the Michigan or Florida delegates would be seated at the party’s national convention because those states had moved their primaries forward. "Iowa and New Hampshire…will always struggle to retain our positions in the calendar, but I think it actually was a reasonable result and does not affect us," Brennan says of Saturday’s decision. "If you look, the candidates did not campaign in Michigan and in Florida and that really was the ultimate sanction. They did not have the opportunity to get to know these candidates like the other 48 states and a number of territories did."
Puerto Rico is holding its primary today. On Tuesday, South Dakota and Montana will be the final two states to hold their Democratic presidential contests. Brennan suggests that with Saturday’s decision among party leaders on Michigan and Florida, the nomination fight should be settled this week. "Michigan and Florida are important and we need to win in November," Brennan says.