Clinton Supporters Fail To Change Caucus Rules
I wonder what Iowans would think about this?
PITTSBURGH – Hillary Rodham Clinton loyalists tried Saturday to kill off the caucus system that proved so damaging to her presidential bid, but were beaten back by a Democratic Party leadership firmly under the command of Barack Obama.
Democrats who supported Clinton’s candidacy pushed to amend the new party platform so that caucuses would be banned in future presidential nominating contests.
But the party’s platform committee refused to allow the amendment to come up for a vote or even a discussion. Co-chair Patricia Madrid, a former New Mexico attorney general, said the matter would instead be taken up at later date by the party’s Rules Committee.
I think it’s very clear that Hillary is trying to pave her way for 2012 if Obama loses, and given that she was essentially handed her loss because of the margins Obama beat her in the caucus states, this move makes sense.
But let’s not pretend this is about making sure more people get to vote, as her supporters suggest. This is political, and had Clinton won this time around, I seriously doubt you’d try to see her changing the rules for next time.
My view of the caucus system? I personally don’t like them, but then again I don’t like the electoral college either. However, I do think states should be able to choose the method they think is best for them, and caucuses are traditionally much more cost effective and do a good job of testing the mettle of the campaign’s organization skills…which in turns informs voters of who’s more on the ball for the general election. So there are definitely very real benefits to keeping caucuses in place.
My biggest beef isn’t with the caucus system so much as it’s with the primary system and how they pick which states get to go first. That needs to change, and I hope it does for 2012 or 2016. But if they’re not going to change the caucus system, I’m not holding my breath on them changing the order either.