New Hampshire First-In-The-Nation Status Undermined

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

From WaPo:

The Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee yesterday dealt a blow to New Hampshire Democrats hoping to keep their coveted place in the presidential nominating schedule, agreeing by voice vote to a plan that would place one or two caucuses between the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 14, 2008, and the New Hampshire primary eight days later.

The proposal, which grew from recommendations by a commission studying how to make the nominating process more diverse both racially and geographically, would also add one or two primaries after the New Hampshire contest but before Feb. 5 — the date after which any state is free to schedule a vote.

But the Granite State won’t take it lying down….

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has threatened that if a state caucus is added between the Iowa and New Hampshire events, he will simply move up the date of the Granite State vote — a power granted him by state law. Should Gardner go that route, the DNC could refuse to seat delegates from his state at the 2008 national party convention.

One of the nice things about New Hampshire being first-in-the-nation (although you really have to be a New Hampshireite to appreciate it) is that politics there is retail.  You get to meet the candidates, talk with them, etc.  Politicking there isn’t merely a bunch of cleverly-crafted Madison Avenue ads.  You have to know your shit.  If the New Hampshire priomary gets lumped in with others, politicians will stop meeting the people, and deploy a broad-based advertising strategy spread over several states (with New Hampshire being a small one).  And for that,, we’ll all be the losers.