The Democratic National Committee demonstrated Friday that when it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the rules do not apply.
Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination, was allowed to break the time limit on her speech Friday to the DNC’s summer convention in Minneapolis. Her speech lasted about 24 minutes, despite an announcement beforehand by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that speeches by presidential candidate at the meeting would be limited to seven minutes.
Afterward, Mrs. Wasserman Schultz told the crowd of party faithful that she had erred in her original announcement and that the time limit was actually 15 minutes, though Mrs. Clinton exceed that restriction by about nine minutes.
The apparent preferential treatment received by Mrs. Clinton was noted by state Democratic Party leaders at the convention.
“If you are going to make rules, you should abide by them,” said New Hampshire state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, vice chairman of the state Democratic Party, who was in the audience.
Mrs. Wasserman Schultz, who’s been accused of strictly controlling the party’s primary debate schedule to benefit Mrs. Clinton, said that she clarified her mistake about the time limit to remove any doubts about the candidates receiving fair treatment by the DNC.
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, preceded Mrs. Clinton on stage and was allow to speak for about 10 minutes.
All the party’s presidential candidates were invited to address the DNC meeting. Only former Sen. Jim Webb declined the invitation.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont addressed the meeting later Friday.
Mr. Sanders, the Vermont independent and avowed socialist who has become Mrs. Clinton’s chief rival for the nomination, also was allowed to speak for 24 minutes.