The Concord Monitor has a great piece this morning looking at the thinking within both the Democratic and Republican Parties concerning the rules (RE: timing) for 2012 presidential delegate selection. The consensus seems to be that the Democratic Change Commission and Republican Temporary Delegate Selection Committee (meeting today) are both committed to closing the window (of time in which primaries and caucuses can be held) to exclude February from the equation. The Democrats are still willing to let Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina go in February and the Republicans are committed to same thing (with the exception of Nevada*). Still, the commitment appears to be there on the part of both parties to scale the length of the presidential primary process back with regard to timing.
Both groups making 2012 recommendations are committed to this, but will the actual decision-makers within the parties (the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee and the full RNC) who will sign off on this actually do that? That is the question of the moment. For the time being, though, the fact that the parties are working separately together on this speaks to the idea that both acknowledge the necessity of teamwork to change the system and avoid additional Florida and Michigan situations in either party.
NOTE: This article has also done a good job at looking at some of the rules changes from 1996 onward that brought the primary system to where it was in 2008. A good read.
*What will Nevada Republicans do if this comes to pass? It seems like they would have an incentive to shirk on this discrepancy if the penalty isn't just right to dissuade them. That will come up at some point.
Coakley, Brown Win Parties' Nods in MA Senate Specials
Huckabee's Favorability in the Post-Commutation Environment
Thoughts on the Special Democratic Primary Election in Massachusetts Today?