New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan boycotted the White House congressional ball Monday to protest President Joe Biden’s desire to purge their state from kicking off the Democratic primary schedule.
A Democratic National Committee (DNC) panel, with the White House’s backing, approved kicking New Hampshire out of its traditional position in favor of South Carolina.
In his never-ended fixation on all things racial, Biden declared that candidates are often out of the race because of small states lacking “voters of color.”
He was also referencing Iowa, though the midwestern state holds caucuses instead of primaries. Biden added that certain candidates are “marginalized by the press and pundits” because they may not do well in the earlier primaries.
Shaheen echoed the sentiments of many New Hampshire Democrats when she said that Biden’s proposal needlessly makes her party’s candidates “from the top to the bottom of the ticket, vulnerable in 2024.”
New Hampshire state law requires it to hold its primary first. That's unlikely to change in 2024, no matter what Biden wants, writes @Philip_Elliott for The D.C. Brief https://t.co/iOgk2msMsJ
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2022
She said that the White House did not have to boot her home state from its perch of holding the first primary, but could have moved a more diverse state up the schedule.
The DNC proposal radically alters the nominating calendar. If passed, the first presidential primary in 2024 would be held in South Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 3. New Hampshire and Nevada would follow three days later, and next would come Georgia and Michigan.
As for Iowa, it would be completely absent from the early primaries, ending decades of its traditional kickoff caucuses.
The path to Biden’s misplaced priorities is far from certain, however. For one, the Republican National Committee already voted this year to retain its lineup of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
Georgia’s Republican-led legislature and newly-reelected Gov. Brian Kemp are not likely to fall in line with the Democratic initiative. And New Hampshire state law dictates that it hold the nation’s first presidential primary — and the state is hardly subject to DNC whims.
The DNC is charging down a trail begun earlier this year when it reopened its presidential nominating process. The party faced internal criticism over its supposed lack of “diversity” in its slate of early primary states, even though South Carolina already held a prime position.
The full DNC will take up the measure early next year.