On Dec. 2, 2022, the Democrats voted to make South Carolina, not Iowa, the first primary state on the presidential nominating calendar. This will start in 2024. And, according to top Democrat and longtime President Biden supporter Congressman Jim Clyburn, the move was made to his home state for Biden’s advantage.
The Dems’ decision came after technical problems resulted in chaos and marred results of the state’s 2020 caucus, PBS reported. The move strips Iowa from the critical position it has held for more than 40 years.
Biden suggested the move, said Clyburn, who has represented South Carolina’s 6th congressional district since 1993. Clyburn was more than instrumental in Biden’s winning the state in the 2020 presidential elections.
“I didn’t ask to be first,” Clyburn told PBS. “It was his idea to be first.”
He added, “He knows what South Carolina did for him, and he’s demonstrated that time and time again by giving respect to South Carolina.”
More recently, Clyburn told The Financial Times, “He wanted South Carolina first. I wanted South Carolina to stay right where it was.”
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According to Clyburn, his state is like a “clean-up” hitter in baseball, traditionally the most powerful hitter on the team. When questioned as to why he thought Biden had made the move, Clyburn answered, “Because I think he’s planning to run again.”
Iowa has held the first-in-the-nation caucuses since 1972, followed by New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary since 1920.
The Republican National Committee decided to keep Iowa’s caucus as the first contest in its 2024 presidential primary.
The vote by the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee faced serious push-back; some states vowed to ignore the changes. Also, Iowa and New Hampshire have pointed out that laws in their states mandate them going before others, and they will still abide by those, not DNC rules.
Clyburn, 82, also told The Financial Times he sees “no reason” for Biden, 80, to step aside in 2024. despite the president’s age.
“I want him to run [in 2024] . . . I see no reason for him not to run,” said the congressman.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., assistant Democratic leader in the House, speaks during the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting, Feb. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)