Politics with Amy Walter: The Democratic National Committee's 2020 Transformation

July 05, 2019

Player utilities

After all the drama in 2016, the Democratic National Committee has reformed the nomination process. Today on Politics with Amy Walter from The Takeaway, a look at the new rules and what impact they could have both intended and unintended.

Tom Perez was elected as chairman of the DNC in 2017. Perez's mission is to insure that 2020 isn’t a repeat of 2016. That doesn’t just mean winning, it means re-instilling faith in the system for Democrats. And the DNC has done a lot of work on this front. Amy Walter talks with chairman Perez about the reforms the DNC has undertaken.

Also: we look into the potential unintended consequence of the new superdelegate rule with Dave Wasserman from the Cook Political Report. Julia Azari, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University, gives us the rundown on the new and confusing debate rules. Jeff Link, a longtime Iowa Democratic strategist, explains what’s new for the first caucus state and the role that Iowa plays in the presidential nominating process. We also tackle the unwritten rules on money and fundraising with Maggie Severns of Politico and try to figure out what the role of the DNC actually is these days, and how it’s changed in the last 25 years with Jamal Simmons of HillTV.

Amy's Final Take: 

When it comes to covering a primary, the media spends most of its time focused on candidates - their personalities, their policies, and their blunders. But, winning candidates spend a lot of their time focused on the unsexy stuff - how to leverage the rules to their advantage. For example, Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 realized early on that the delegate rules meant that caucuses were going to win him a lot of delegates - even if they didn’t garner as much media attention as big primary states like Pennsylvania or Texas.

This year, Democrats have lots of new written and unwritten rules to figure out. How to raise lots of money without looking beholden to corportists and one percenters. How to get on the debate stage - and make the most of that opportunity. And, how to convince primary voters that they won the process fair and square. As we saw in 2016, winning the primary is only one part of the challenge for the nominee. He or she has to keep the party unified and inspired all through the general election too.

Read her latest Cook Political Report here.