1 hr 2 min

How an Open Democratic Convention Would Work The Ezra Klein Show

    • Society & Culture

After President Biden’s rough performance at the first presidential debate, the question of an open convention has roared to the front of Democratic politics. But how would an open convention work? What would be its risks? What would be its rewards?

In February, after I first made the case for an open Democratic convention, I interviewed Elaine Kamarck to better understand what an open convention would look like. She literally wrote the book on how we choose presidential candidates, “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know About How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” But her background here isn’t just theory. She’s worked on four presidential campaigns and on 10 nominating conventions — for both Democrats and Republicans. She’s a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee. And her explanation of the mechanics and dynamics of open conventions was, for me, extremely helpful. It’s even more relevant now than it was then.

Book Recommendations:

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White

Quiet Revolution by Byron E. Shafer

Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Kristin Lin. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

After President Biden’s rough performance at the first presidential debate, the question of an open convention has roared to the front of Democratic politics. But how would an open convention work? What would be its risks? What would be its rewards?

In February, after I first made the case for an open Democratic convention, I interviewed Elaine Kamarck to better understand what an open convention would look like. She literally wrote the book on how we choose presidential candidates, “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know About How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” But her background here isn’t just theory. She’s worked on four presidential campaigns and on 10 nominating conventions — for both Democrats and Republicans. She’s a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee. And her explanation of the mechanics and dynamics of open conventions was, for me, extremely helpful. It’s even more relevant now than it was then.

Book Recommendations:

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White

Quiet Revolution by Byron E. Shafer

Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Kristin Lin. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

1 hr 2 min

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