Two New Hampshire lawmakers are boycotting the White House Congressional Ball on Monday over a President Biden-backed plan that would set back the Granite State Democratic presidential primary by days.
Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan will be absent from the festive annual event at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave after expressing anger over the proposed primary reshuffle which the 80-year-old president says will promote more diversity in the nominating process.
“As Senator Shaheen has said, the president’s proposal makes New Hampshire Democrats, up and down the ticket, unnecessarily vulnerable in 2024,” a spokeswoman for Shaheen told the Hill.
“It was not to be a mutually exclusive decision – it could have advanced a more diverse state at an earlier date, while maintaining New Hampshire as the first primary election. Instead, New Hampshire Republicans have been given the political fodder they have been waiting for to target Democrats and deter independents from supporting Democrats in crucial local, state and federal elections,” the spokeswoman added.
The Democratic National Committee’s rules and regulations committee voted last week to make South Carolina the first state to vote in Democratic presidential nominating contests in 2024, replacing Iowa as the first state.
Under the new arrangement, Palmetto State would hold its primary on February 3, 2024. Nevada and New Hampshire will hold their primaries three days later, followed by Georgia on February 13 and Michigan on February 27.
Hassan, who also jumps the ball, called the Biden-backed plan “deeply flawed.”
“I strongly oppose the president’s deeply flawed proposal to change the primary schedule. Make no mistake, New Hampshire law is clear and our primary will continue to be the nation’s first,” Hassan wrote on Twitter last week.
“Due to the small size of our state, candidates from all walks of life – not just those with the biggest war chests – can compete and engage in the unique retail politics that characterizes our state. This ensures that candidates are battle tested and ready to compete for our country’s highest office,” Hassan continued.
“We will still hold the nation’s first primary, and that status is independent of the proposal of the president or any political organization,” she added.
The Post has contacted the offices of Shaheen and Hassan for comment.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the plan on Monday despite the outcry it caused in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
“For him, respecting our diversity as a nation and breaking down barriers for our people is a fundamental principle,” she said.
Jean-Pierre added that the president “makes sure we see the diversity within his administration which is clearly represented across the country and he wants to honor those values.”
In a letter to the DNC last week, Biden said primary results from small states such as New Hampshire had “marginalized” candidates before they had a chance to appeal to a more diverse set of voters. voters.
“Too often over the past fifty years, candidates have dropped out or had their candidacies sidelined by the press and pundits due to poor performance in small states early in the process before voters of color could cast their ballots,” wrote Biden.
New York Post