...of my congressional district committee to go over the post primary delegate selection caucus rules. About fifty people attended (and asked a lot of questions) about the processes. The issue of "bound" delegates came up - the rule was discussed.
There have been a few rules changes since I participated in the last one. Among them - in my state you now must have actually voted in the primary to be able to participate in the delegate selection process. That wasn't the case in the past.
My congressional district will be allocated 5 national delegates. Two males and three females. The delegates will then be allocated in proportion to the primary vote, with a minimum 15% threshold.
To get to the point of actually being selected as a national delegate at a congressional district meeting you have got to be either seriously organized over a twenty five county area if you don't have a history of party activism (a "name" as it were, with everyone else who is active in the district), have a compelling personal story, or have a widespread reputation for effective and sustained party activism.
You ain't going to get elected as a delegate if no one has ever heard of you before the meeting, unless you've managed to organize those 25 county caucuses this far out. Right now, that's not happening in our area.
As an aside - a helpful hint for crashing the gate: read, understand, and implement the rules. They are there in plain daylight.
In all likelihood the elected delegates will come from people who are advocates of the specific candidates, but not newly active amateur fans. The elected delegates will be people with a long history in the party. In areas, such as mine, where there might indeed be a close contest, the calculus for a potential delegate comes into play. Where is their best shot at getting a delegate slot? An individual might just choose to go to a sub-caucus based solely on that.
The party activists in attendance at yesterday's meeting do not revile any of the three leading candidates at all. And especially not with the acid rhetoric that we tend to see from the candidates' amateur fans on many blogs.
I met Edwards, Clinton, and Obama supporters (all activists, and all potential delegates) who are thrilled that the next president will be a Democrat. First. They are not going to do anything to damage any potential party nominee (An enthusiastic Edwards supporter from a rural county told me that their county committee was Clinton - 10, Obama - 5, and Edwards - 5. She loved them all.).
So, given the broad sentiments of support for all, and the possibility that something in the nomination situation might change between delegate election and the convention, you better believe that a delegate could and would change their allegiance.
A friend of mine (an Obama supporter) called my up this morning to talk about Hillary Clinton on MTP. This friend has strong opinions about many things - and even likes Timmeh! (go figure). He told me, "Are you watching MTP? Hillary's beating up Tim Russert!"
Parts of it suck. Parts of it have jumped the shark. Parts of it do great work. It's all in how you look at it. Or what your agenda is.
The problem with a great blog (or a great restaurant) is that everybody goes there. Why not? It's where the perceived action is. Right now the amateur fans of the various candidates congregate at these clean, well lit places - that'll change after February 5th. They'll lose interest, or find another battle somewhere else, or get assimilated into the pre-primary culture. If we're lucky, enough people will remain to mop up the spilled beer and sweep up the dropped food and broken crockery.
Blogtopia (Yes, we're aware that skippy coined the phrase!) is much more than the A-list. There are a lot more quality places than there were even two years ago. Places that candidate fans haven't quite discovered yet, where the fare is quite engaging, and where the crowd is not so, well, amateurish.
I think you're right about the Hillary Q&A sessions, because Al Gore did the exact same thing in 2000. The media hated it, because they want to get out of those townhalls ASAP and hit the bar, but real voters love it. You wonder how long it will take before we get sick of reporters projecting their personal feelings onto the electorate, because they are never right.
I attended one of those town hall meetings in late March 2000. Al Gore spoke for a few minutes and then said he'd remain until everyone who wanted to ask a question could do so. The range of subjects addressed was incredible. Two and a half hours later...