The same day progressive Gov. Maura Healey (D-Mass.) came to New Hampshire to press local liberals to write in Joe Biden on the presidential primary ballot, the DNC sent Granite State Democrats a very different message.
New Hampshire Democrats’ unauthorized First in the Nation primary “can disenfranchise and confuse voters,” the Democratic National Committee wrote to state party chair Ray Buckley on Saturday. “The event on January 23, 2024, cannot be used as the first determining stage of the state’s delegate selection process and is considered detrimental.”
And, the DNC added, it is Buckley and the party’s job to make sure Democratic voters know the New Hampshire primary “is a non-binding presidential preference event and is meaningless.”
Politico first reported the letter. Buckley told the outlet the statement from the DNC is nothing new. “They’ve been saying that for a year, yet we persist,” he said.
The letter is a reminder the state Democratic Party is in danger of having its delegates turned away from the national convention in Chicago this August.
When the Biden campaign informed New Hampshire it would not allow his name to appear on the ballot, it wrote that “the president wishes to participate in the Primary” but was prevented by DNC rules. In fact, Biden wrote the DNC’s Rules Committee urging it to strip New Hampshire from its place on the calendar and replace it with South Carolina.
As the Associated Press reported at the time, “The new plan was championed by President Joe Biden.”
That hasn’t stopped Buckley and other state party leaders from boosting a Biden write-in bid.
“Joe Biden will win the NH FITN Primary in January, win renomination in Chicago, and will be re-elected next November,” Buckley tweeted.
Also supporting the write-in push are the two Democratic candidates for governor — former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington; all 10 Democrats in the state Senate; and the entire federal delegation. Former U.S. Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, both outspoken progressives, are also on board with Biden.
“The leadership of the National parties rarely distinguish themselves by tact or strategic thinking,” Hodes told NHJournal. “The DNC’s snide remarks probably play well outside of New Hampshire, but here at home, we can shake our heads and ignore them. The write-in effort is strong, as is our candidate, Joe Biden, and our prospects for victory.”
Saturday’s letter was released as the New Hampshire Democratic Party held its “2024 Pre-Primary Caucus” at St. Anselm College and in Concord. The event is part of the state party’s delegate selection process, but nowhere on the NHDP website does it mention the DNC has already rejected that process and its results.
“We advise you to inform participants that this process has not been approved by the [Rules and Bylaws Committee] and is therefore not the approved route to become a Delegate to the National Convention, nor will it be recommended for approval by the RBC,” the DNC wrote.
The Biden campaign refused to participate in the caucus events, and Biden has adamantly refused to step foot in New Hampshire as the FITN campaign is underway. However, Healey showed up at St. A’s to caucus for Biden. “I’m all in for Joe Biden because of what he’s done and what he offers, and I think the people of New Hampshire need to see that,” Healey told WMUR.
Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips noted the ironic timing.
“The day Joe Biden gives a speech about protecting democracy, his DNC reminds New Hampshire Democrats their Jan 23 votes won’t count,” Phillips posted on social media. “Well, Granite Staters, your primary and your votes absolutely matter to me, and when I’m President the DNC will be forced to practice democracy.”
Republicans say the DNC letter is yet another Biden insult to New Hampshire Democrats, one they should reject by refusing to write in his name.
“Joe Biden and the DNC’s dismissal of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation presidential primary as ‘meaningless’ and ‘detrimental’ is an affront to our proud tradition of civic engagement,” said Rep. Joe Sweeney (R-Salem). “The only thing meaningless and detrimental to New Hampshire is the president and his handpicked DNC.”
Sweeney is leading a GOP-backed effort encouraging Democrats to write in “Bozo” as a protest against the treatment they’ve received from the Biden campaign.