Saturday, September 29, 2007

Puerile Primary Poker

New Hampshire thinks they are in the catbird seat.... keeping mum while fiddling with the date of their primary, thus making other early primary states sweat it out. Especially Iowa who, as New Hampshire well knows, by state law is required to hold their caucuses at least eight days earlier than any other contest.

The Secretary of State in New Hampshire, Bill Gardner, has the sole power to schedule his state's primary.... and he's not telling anyone what his decision will be, although some are hinting at December 18. December 18! In the midst of the Holiday Season.

Such an early date might work against New Hampshire.

In 1988 Michigan held a delegate selection process before Iowa, and got little attention. Later, Alaska held an earlier contest as well. Never heard of that.... no wonder. It was no big deal.

While Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D) has said "In this state, we're going to have Christmas," others in his party aren't so accommodating.

As David Nagle, the former Iowa Democratic Party chairman who largely established the current calendar in 1984, warned in a memo to party leaders... "If New Hampshire chooses to move in front of us, then we will move again."

This delegate selection musical-chairs is just another annoyance for voters faced with unreliable electronic voting machines, and inundated with dinner-time campaign phone calls and focus-group-tested slick candidate television ads.

Let's not further degrade the primaries with juvenile "gotcha" games. Serious voters.... who must choose that candidate who can lead us out of the current abysmal state of our country.... deserve a serious primary process .

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