Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Obama heads to NH"

Union Leader (NH):
llinois Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that if he runs for President, he will ignore a new Democratic National Committee rule by campaigning in New Hampshire even if its first-in-the-nation primary is scheduled earlier than the party establishment's designated date.

But Obama, who debuts in New Hampshire tomorrow for two sold-out appearances, also said in an interview it was a "great idea'' by the DNC to schedule a caucus in Nevada and a primary in South Carolina -- states with more racial diversity than New Hampshire -- into early slots "where they can have an impact'' on the nomination process.

Gov. John Lynch and state party leaders strongly opposed the DNC's recent move to schedule a Nevada caucus three days ahead of New Hampshire's primary, which the party set for Jan. 22, 2008, and five days after Iowa's traditional leadoff caucus. It also moved South Carolina's primary to Jan. 29, 2008.

Obama said the national party still preserved "the essential role that Iowa and New Hampshire have always played'' in the nominating process. He said that as a political product of grassroots organizing, "I'm a strong believer in the tradition of New Hampshire being the first primary.''

He added, "If I decide to run, I expect I'll be campaigning actively in New Hampshire.'' He said he will make his decision "early in the new year.''

The DNC in August passed a rule to punish candidates who campaign in out-of-compliance states by withholding any national convention delegates they win in those states.

"Ultimately, the DNC is nothing more than its constituent members,'' Obama said, "and the party as a whole benefits from the kind of grassroots campaigning that has played a traditional important role in New Hampshire.''
mcjoan puts the interview on page one of Kos and draws many comments. Coincidentally, Hillary Clinton is having New Hampshire Democrats over for dinner at her house in D.C. Sunday night.

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