Opinion: DNC’s Kaine picks panel to reform Democrats’ entire nominating process


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Good news for Michigan and Florida Democrats. You might not get cut out of the party’s messy primary voting process again in 2012.

Of course, with an incumbent Barack Obama, the Democrats’ presidential-candidate-picking process may be moot:

Assuming the rookie Great Change Agent quickly fills five dozen empty slots at Treasury, fixes the nation’s economy, creates multiple millions of jobs, reforms the country’s entire education system, makes it affordable to every American, creates a thriving green economy, reduces dependence on foreign oil, solves the housing crisis, keeps interest rates low, prevents inflation, avoids an Afghan quagmire, cuts taxes for 95% of Americans, screws over the other 5% and halves the national debt.


Oh, and cleanses the culture of greed and entitlement on every U.S. street including the one named Wall.

Last year’s Democratic primaries were hardfought even bitter affairs, not helped by the initial banning of the results of those important twin states, which denied Hillary Clinton two crucial albeit sneaky victories.

And all presided over by another former unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate, Howard Dean.

Dean is gone now, unceremoniously dumped and denied a Cabinet job by the Obama camp, in favor of parttime chair, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia. He’’ll take over fulltime next year to earn his D.C. chops and, come 2012, probably replace aging Joe Biden as Obama’s VP who, you may remember, was a senator way back when Obama was a sixth grader. (Although keep your eyes on Missouri’s most Twittering senator.)

But watch out. CNBC announced today that Dean has signed on there as a commentator. Now, all that cable channel needs is some viewers and Dean can be heard to get even on-air.

The 37-member Democratic Change Commission will be headed by Sen. Claire McCaskill (who likes to Twitter) and Rep. James Clyburn, both ardent Obama backers. And Obama’s ex-campaign manager David Plouffe is also on.

The goal, Kaine says, is ‘to put voters first and ensure that as many people as possible can participate.’ A complete list of commission members is below; scroll down or click on the ‘Read more’ line.

The commission, which grows from a convention resolution by Obama last August, will have three goals: chop the number of superdelegates, reform the caucus system and change ‘the window of time’ for caucuses and primaries. Should Iowa and New Hampshire be worried?


The commission’s report is due by next New Years Day.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Membership of the 2009 Democratic Party Commission on Change:

Co-Chairs: Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri, and Rep. James Clyburn, South Carolina.

Members: Jeremy Alters, Florida; Jeff Berman, Washington, D.C; Ashley Bliss, Georgia; State Rep. Dan Blue, North Carolina; Bill Carrick, Los Angeles; Mayor Michael Coleman, Columbus, Ohio; Jeff Forbes, Washington; Joan Garry, New Jersey; Kansas state chairman Larry Gates; Adelita Grijalva, Arizona; Rob Hampshire, Pennsylvania; Ned Helms, New Hampshire.

Also on the commission: Alexis Herman, Virginia; Tribal Chairman Ron His Horse Is Thunder, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Teamsters Pres. James Hoffa, Michigan; Roseanne Hope, Minnesota; Nevada state senator Steven Horsford; Suzie LeVine, Seattle; UAW CAP Director Dick Long, Michigan; Andres Lopez, Puerto Rico; Patricia Madrid, New Mexico; Debbie Marquez, Colorado; Illinois state senator Iris Martinez; Jennifer McClellan, Virginia; Montana secretary of State Linda McCulloch.

Also: Iowa attorney general Tim Miller; Minyon Moore, Washington; Sunah Park, Pennsylvania; Plouffe, Washington; Rebecca Prozan, California; James Roosevelt, Jr., Massachusetts; Rep. Linda Sanchez, California; Randi Weingarten, New York; Oregon state chair Meredith Wood Smith; Martin Yeung, South Dakota.