Saturday, October 27, 2007

Iowa's Last To Be First?

Thursday, January 3, 2008 will probably mark the end of an era.

Considering the jumbled musical chairs the primary season has become, it is likely it will be the last time Iowa will hold its caucuses as first in the nation.

Even at that, to be first this time around both the Iowa GOP and Democratic parties have had to push their caucus date forward to New Year's week.... the night of the Orange Bowl game.... January 3.

Other larger and more populous states are throwing elbows, crowding into line.... and really, who can blame them. Every four years the national spotlight falls on Iowa as presidential wanna-bes of both parties travel, spend money.... almost camp out in the state. Other states want part of the action.

In the future, retail politics as practiced in schools, churches, even living rooms of prospective Iowa caucus goers will give way to the realities of the electronic age.... and sadly one-on-one campaigning will fall into the dustbin of history. As quaint as the notion of knowing your neighbor.

Although just four states.... Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.... were designated by the Democratic party to hold their nominating contests pre-February 5, Florida jumped their date ahead forcing South Carolina to hold their primaries earlier, while Michigan set its primary for January 15, a week earlier than the scheduled date for New Hampshire. New Hampshire will undoubtedly nose forward on the calendar.... bumper-car politics.

Hopefully when the primary scheduling traffic jam is addressed for future contests, other common-sense things will be addressed also. Like limiting the length of the campaign season.... and reining in the monstrous cost that increasingly only produces corporate-beholden nominees.

Otherwise, just rearranging the order of the starting lineup won't save the dangerously out-of-control Mad Max race to the White House.

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