The Democratic National Committee held its 2010 summer meeting last week, Aug 19 and 20, in St. Louis. As one of your elected DNC members, it was a pleasure to get to represent the great state of North Carolina and to let other DNC members from across the country know how much we will enjoy hosting them for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
As some of y'all may know, Charlotte is in final contention for site selection, along with St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. I think each site has its own strengths and weaknesses. But we all believe that Charlotte, and especially North Carolina, is the best place to renominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President of the United States of America!
There was lots of activity at the meeting, but I'll just share my experiences in St. Louis (not counting my first chance to attend a major league baseball game!).
One of the issues our state was concerned about was related to the Rules & Bylaws Committee report. The RBC was going to recommend changes to the presidential delegate selection process and the presidential primary calendar. In the end, the calendar changes will not affect North Carolina (with our May primary), and we will continued to be "rewarded" by the DNC for our "late" primary by being assigned an additional number of bonus delegate slots, as we were in 2008.
The RBC also recommended that the number of pledged delegates be increased by transforming delegate alternates into pledged delegates. Unpledged delegates, aka "superdelegates" (such as DNC members!), will continue to exist, though certainly at a lower percentage compared to the number of pledged delegates as a whole. An additional change is to require unpledged delegates to make their presidential candidate preference known no later than 10 days following their state's primary (or caucus).
All of the RBC recommendations were passed by the general body of the DNC. My personal belief is that these were all good and productive changes. The presidential primary calendar is now locked to mid-February for the "early states," i.e. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, with all other states locked in no earlier than March 1. I still have concerns about the caucus system of other states, but I am told that the DNC will be issuing a "best practices" guide, re: caucuses, to ensure that process is fair to all candidates.
I was able to attend various meetings of the DNC Youth Council. North Carolina now has an additional Youth Council member, Laura De Castro, who recently became an at-large Youth Council member for the Southern region. It was great to meet the new leaders of the College Democrats of America and the Young Democrats of America. We were privileged to hear from two young, dynamic Missouri state legislators about the challenges of being young professionals in politics and elected office. I also got a chance to speak with fellow members from the Young Elected Officials Network about the work "us kids" are doing at the local government level.
One of the highlights of the meeting was an address from Vice President Joe Biden. I'll just let him speak for himself:
We also heard from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill, and Gov. Jay Nixon. Missouri is also a state trying to ensure they get their second Democratic woman senator this year with their secretary of state ... Robin Carnahan!
It was a good few days of meeting with fellow Democrats from across the nation, getting some work done for our national party, and making sure we can reach victory in 2010.
Thank you again for allowing me to serve as one of your five elected DNC members!
County Commissioner (At-Large),
Cumberland County Board of Commissioners
DNC Member, North Carolina
Chairman Gov. Tim Kaine's remarks were just added to YouTube, so I'll insert it below: