Showing posts with label party chairman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label party chairman. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2021

Former DNC Chair Perez Calls the Calendar Status Quo "Unacceptable"

In a sit-down with The New York Times, former DNC Chair Tom Perez was asked about the case for continuing with Iowa and New Hampshire at the beginning of the Democratic presidential primary calendar. He painted an ominous picture for the two traditional two states on the calendar:
Q: Should Iowa and New Hampshire keep going first in the presidential nominating process?  
A: That will be up to the D.N.C.’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.  
Q: I’m aware. But what does the private citizen Tom Perez think? 
A: A diverse state or states need to be first. The difference between going first and going third is really important. We know the importance of momentum in Democratic primaries.  
Q: I’ll try one more time. Could you make a case for defending Iowa and New Hampshire going first?  
A: The status quo is clearly unacceptable. To simply say, “Let’s just continue doing this because this is how we’ve always done it,” well, Iowa started going as an early caucus state, I believe, in 1972. The world has changed a lot since 1972 to 2020 and 2024. And so the notion that we need to do it because this is how we’ve always done it is a woefully insufficient justification for going first again.  
This is the Democratic Party of 2020. It’s different from the Democratic Party in how we were in 1972. And we need to reflect that change. And so I am confident that the status quo is not going to survive.
As FHQ mentioned on Twitter a day ago, this is not revelatory from Perez. He discussed the wisdom in continuing to protect Iowa and New Hampshire just after the primary in the Granite state in 2020 and has regularly raised the importance of diversity early on in the nomination process. The former chair dipped back into both wells in his comments to the NYT. 

But a former national party chair is still a former national party chair. Folks of that ilk go on to do a lot of things, but directly influencing the formalizing of national party rules is not always among them. However, where Perez may have some influence is in continuing to give voice to this viewpoint that the status quo on the calendar is no longer acceptable. It is not as if the Iowa and New Hampshire question is going to disappear for Democrats. 

It is not. 

Yet, this keeps the issue salient in a time that is usually very quiet on the rules front (just after a presidential election year), but in a period in the lead up to an expected autopsy from the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee on the 2020 process (due out by the end of March). Iowa and New Hampshire and their arguable lack of diversity will be components of that report. Of course, that will only be step one in the process of devising the 2024 delegate selection rules at the national party level. The real work by the DNCRBC will come after that. Talk of change is cheap, but actual change is not. 

But those obstacles are not insurmountable. And Perez's stewardship of the 2020 rules speaks to that. He constantly in introductory statements at Unity Reform Commission or DNCRBC meetings from 2017-18 -- and no doubt behind the scenes -- talked of the "north star" principles of the party. And one of those was participation. The party sought to increase participation in the nomination process by encouraging states to shift from caucuses to primaries and by easing the barriers to registration and voting. The former bore fruit in 2020. Caucus states decreased in number from 14 states in 2016 to three in 2020. [And the pandemic shifted Wyoming toward a mail-in process that did not ultimately qualify as the caucuses the state party intended to conduct.] The party also made efforts to reduce the role of superdelegates in the process -- another thorny issue that looked like a steep uphill climb to achieve -- on Perez's watch. 

That effort took a great deal of work and so, too, will any push to rejigger the beginning of the 2024 Democratic presidential primary calendar. Any constant drumbeat about such a change -- like these comments from Perez -- will only keep the pressure on those in the national party to make a change. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Michael Steele by the Numbers

or A Look at the Potential for the Current RNC Chair Being Removed

Speaking of that possibility and with chatter ramping up of late, the removal of the RNC chairman requires a two-thirds vote of the RNC according to Rule 5(1)(a)[See page 7 in rules here.]. Now, whether that is probable is beside the point. Chris Cillizza thinks it is unlikely, but let's look at this from a numbers standpoint. We know that 112 RNC members (out of 168) would have to vote to remove Steele. We also know that Steele got 91 votes on the sixth and final ballot of the chair election in January. The 77 votes that went to runner-up Katon Dawson would have to be augmented by 35 of those 91 Steele supporters to remove the current chair.

RNC Chair Votes by Ballot
1st ballot
2nd ballot
3rd ballot
4th ballot
5th ballot
6th ballot
Source: National Review Online

But not all of those 91 were initially among Steele's supporters. In fact, of those 91, at most 45 were not with Steele on the first ballot. [That assumes that all of the original 46 stuck by Steele throughout.] That's 45 soft Steele supporters who could potentially be swayed by an effort to assemble a successful vote of no confidence to oust the chairman. Of course 78% of those 45 would have to be persuaded that Steele needs to removed to make that a reality (or to break into the original 46 hard supporters) and I'm not sure that's anywhere close to happening. But more statements like those given to GQ and/or Republican James Tedisco failing to win new Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's vacated NY-20 congressional seat in the upcoming special election likely wouldn't help.

But put it this way: It is closer now than it was on January 30 when Steele was elected.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Race for RNC Chair

Allow me to take a brief respite from putting the finishing touches on grades for the semester to weigh in on something that I came across today.

Over at Red State, Erick Erickson and company have come up with and posed a list of ten issues important to the readers and contributors at the right-leaning blogging community to the candidates for chair of the Republican Party. [You can see that list here.] The first of the six candidates in the running, Saul Anuzis, responded today. Anuzis is the Michigan Republican Party chairman and was a proponent of the state's 2008 primary move to January 15 -- a date that defied both national parties' rules governing delegate selection.

Now why would I push this on the readers of FHQ, a group I think is fair to assess as left of center ideologically? Well, as I've mentioned, theoretically, it will be the Republican Party that will be the most apt to tinker with its rules between now and the 2012 presidential election. Thus, who they choose could have an impact on the direction of the party and who they ultimately settle on for their nominee. Anuzis doesn't reveal anything too exciting in that regard, but in the comments section he is asked about the possibility of closing the Republican primaries in 2012. I have no idea if Anuzis will respond, but that line of questioning will be something to track in the subsequent iterations of these chair candidate discussions, should they come to pass.

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