Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Pledge: Dodd, Richardson, Biden in, Now Obama and Edwards Join (Updated: Hillary's in Now)

Yesterday, a letter was sent to the candidates by the Democratic Party chairs of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada asking them to pledge to not campaign in states that are breaking DNC rules and have moved up their primaries before February 5th. The pledge has also gotten the support from influential members of Congress like Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Harry Reid, and Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. The pledge says they won't compete in any other states that vote before February 5th. It would solidify the importance of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada while giving Florida and possibly Michigan the cold shoulder.

Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson quickly agreed to the pledge. Joe Biden signed on not to long after. Barack Obama and John Edwards agreed to sign on today.

Here are comments from the candidates that have signed on to the pledge...

Bill Richardson

"This process is completely out of control and only an agreement by the candidates can restore sanity," Governor Richardson said. "I hope no candidate tries to manipulate this situation for his or her own purposes. The DNC rules were established for a purpose – to allow retail campaigning in a few early states and choose those states based on geographic and demographic diversity. Each candidate for President should do whatever possible to preserve the established rules. Anarchy in the nominating process does nothing to further the cause of changing America."
Chris Dodd
"I believe that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada offer a cross section of America and allow for voters to probe the experience and vision of candidates in a meaningful way,” said Dodd. “In this year, where the national media focus seems to be on celebrity and bank accounts, the role of these states is more important than ever. I am committed to the DNC nominating calendar and preserving the first in the nation status of Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Joe Biden
"It is time to end all the maneuvering around the dates of the early primaries and caucuses. We intend not only to sign the pledge, but to honor our pledge to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina to respect their primacy to the process,” said Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro. “They played by the rules of the DNC. We respect those rules. The public despises this kind of maneuvering for political advantage. If the Republicans want to play this way, let them. But we will not be a party to it."

Barack Obama
"As I have campaigned across America over the last six months, it's become clear that Governor Dean and the Democratic National Committee have put together a presidential nomination process that's in the best interests of our party and our nation," said Senator Obama. "I look forward to continuing the dialogue with voters and building the kind of grassroots movement in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina and the rest of the country that will send a clear signal to Washington that the American people are ready for change."

John Edwards

“This election, more than any other, is about real change and choosing the candidate who is going to fight for that change,” said Edwards. “Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina need to be first because in these states ideas count, not just money. These are places where voters get to look the candidate in the eye and measure their policies, ideas, and integrity. That’s why I am signing this pledge. This tried-and-true nominating system is the only way for voters to judge the field based on the quality of the candidate, not the depth of their war chest.

“I strongly encourage my fellow candidates to support this four state pledge. The Democratic Party is the party of ideas, not money; Main Street, not Wall Street; and real people, not Washington insiders, and signing this pledge reaffirms that.”

Hillary Clinton has agreed to the pledge also. That means all of the serious candidates on the Democratic side have agreed to not campaign in Florida or Michigan, though they can still hold fundraisers in these states.

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