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WATCH: Dems On CNN Panel: Iowa Shouldn’t Go First Because It’s Too White

By  Hank
Photo by Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Speaking on CNN after the Iowa caucuses had become a debacle, members of a panel on CNN decided on one salient reason that Iowa caucuses should not hold the position of prominence they do: too many white people in Iowa.

CNN commentator and former Barack Obama administration official Van Jones, who served as Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs and also was a co-host for CNN’s “Crossfire,” posited, “I just think that the idea of the caucus has failed to meet the viability threshold. The idea of the caucus itself has failed to meet the viability threshold because we’ve all been saying the whole time, ‘Why Iowa in the first place? It’s 90% white.’ When you have a party as diverse as this to be in a state that’s not as diverse is terrible. People ain’t going to be able to vote and go home. I don’t like caucuses in the first place, but if you can’t even deliver on your one job … you have only one job, Iowa.”

A CNN host turned to former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, asking, “Governor, you’ve talked about this before … what state would you like to have come first?”

As the panel joked, “Virginia,” amid laughter, McAuliffe answered, “I think we should start regionally; You should do three or four or five states; you shouldn’t have one; it shouldn’t be Iowa; it shouldn’t be New Hampshire. You look at these entrance data; 90% of the caucus-goers today were white. Well, if you take the whole landscape of the election, it’s 60%. So it’s way skewed out of line. I would get rid of all the caucuses, first of all.”

Of course, what the panelists ignored is the fact that in 2008, Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, who are both white, and race didn’t seem to matter. The New York Times reported at the time:

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a first-term Democratic senator trying to become the nation’s first African-American president, rolled to victory in the Iowa caucuses on Thursday night, lifted by a record turnout of voters who embraced his promise of change.

The victory by Mr. Obama, 46, amounted to a startling setback for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 60, of New York, who just months ago presented herself as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. The result left uncertain the prospects for John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, who had staked his second bid for the White House on winning Iowa …

A record number of Democrats turned out to caucus more than 239,000, compared with fewer than 125,000 in 2004 producing scenes of overcrowded firehouses and schools and long lines of people waiting to register their preferences. The images stood as evidence of the success of Mr. Obama’s effort to reach out to thousands of first-time caucusgoers, including many independent voters and younger voters.

Obama also won in white-dominated states such as Idaho, Utah, and North Dakota, proving that race did not matter to the voters as Obama rolled on to victory for the presidential nomination.




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