Rep. David Price Discusses Presidential Election Process
At a January 28 convocation at Meredith College, Representative David Price (D-N.C.) offered insight into the presidential primary process, in a talk titled “Is This Any Way to Elect a President?”.
“There’s no question the current system is broken,” Price said, leading to problems including the devaluing of political experience “in the face of big money and celebrity.”
One of the flaws Price sees is that the process “started too soon but may end too abruptly, with almost half of the country voting on February 5” creating a “front-loading” of primaries.
Price discussed options for improving the primary process but dismissed the idea of a national primary because “despite the supposed virtues of a national primary…this would result in big money and big media having even more influence than they have now.”
Instead, he believes an orderly system of approximately five primary contests each Tuesday for several months would be ideal.
Price has played a central role in designing the rules that govern the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination contest. He was staff director of the Commission on Presidential Nomination, which revised the rules for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination.
More recently, Price has served as co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Nomination, Timing and Scheduling, which revised the rules for the current round of Democratic Party presidential primaries.
Among the most recent commission’s recommendations was to fix the public financing system “so that it fits modern reality and doesn’t put candidates at a tremendous disadvantage” by raising the amount of money that can be raised and revising the timetable for matching funds.
“Obviously, those efforts have been something less than smashing successes,” Price said of the commissions’ work.
Noting that his experience was with the Democratic Party’s process, Price said, “If I were a Republican looking at the race, I don’t think I’d feel any better.”
About David Price
Price represents North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes parts of Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. Before he began serving in Congress in 1987, Price was a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University. He is the author of four books on Congress and the American political system.
Price’s lecture was part of Meredith’s yearlong focus on Ethical Leadership. The “Ethical Leadership” series fosters a campus-wide exchange of ideas about the definitions of ethical leadership, and how these definitions can be applied to achieving ethical decision-making across multiple fields and disciplines. For more, visit www.meredith.edu/campus-theme. More Details