A reader writes:
We have all been witnessing some Clinton campaign carping about the Democratic nominating process since this became a political horserace rather than a coronation. According to the campaign principals and surrogates, the Iowa caucuses were disenfranchising (notwithstanding record participation fueled by the Obama campaign message), the New Hampshire primary (when it didn't look good for team Clinton) followed Iowa too closely and allowed, gasp, independents to participate (notwithstanding desperate party-building needs for Democrats), and now the Nevada caucuses (now that the Culinary Workers have had their say) are disenfranchising.
If I recall correctly, over the past four years, Clinton allies -- including Terry McAuliffe and Alexis Herman -- were largely responsible for the front-loaded primary calendar. To be fair, Terry McAuliffe started the stampede under pressure from anti-NH and IA supremacy constituencies (i.e., populous states) and legitimate concerns about minority participation. Harry Reid and the House of Labor pushed for NV's slot. Also, Clinton ally Harold Ickes fought against SC's continued enhanced status -- on John Edwards, not Barack Obama grounds -- but lost to Jim Clyburn's forces.
But the overriding conventional wisdom in Clinton circles was that a front-loaded primary and super-duper Tuesday would make it cost- and time-prohibitive for anyone to challenge the Clinton political machine. I guess that's a new spin on the old political chestnut, "you've gotta dance with the one that brung ya."