All of the major Democratic presidential candidates have signed the “Four State Pledge.” The pledge is sponsored by the State Democratic Parties in South Carolina, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. Candidates who sign the pledge agree not to campaign in any state that schedules a caucus or primary before February 5th, 2008.
Here is an excerpt from each statement:
Biden: "It is time to end all the maneuvering around the dates of the early primaries and caucuses. We intend not only to sign the pledge, but to honor our pledge to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina to respect their primacy to the process."
Clinton: "We believe Iowa , New Hampshire , Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process. And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar."
Dodd: "I believe that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada offer a cross section of America and allow for voters to probe the experience and vision of candidates in a meaningful way."
Edwards: "Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina need to be first because in these states ideas count, not just money. These are places where voters get to look the candidate in the eye and measure their policies, ideas, and integrity. That’s why I am signing this pledge. This tried-and-true nominating system is the only way for voters to judge the field based on the quality of the candidate, not the depth of their war chest."
Obama: "I look forward to continuing the dialogue with voters and building the kind of grassroots movement in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina and the rest of the country that will send a clear signal to Washington that the American people are ready for change."
Richardson: "This process is completely out of control and only an agreement by the candidates can restore sanity. I hope no candidate tries to manipulate this situation for his or her own purposes. The DNC rules were established for a purpose – to allow retail campaigning in a few early states and choose those states based on geographic and demographic diversity. Each candidate for President should do whatever possible to preserve the established rules. Anarchy in the nominating process does nothing to further the cause of changing America."