New Hampshire Primary Necessary For Democracy? What Twaddle!

I stumbled across an editorial in the Union Leader this morning defending the New Hampshire primary as essential to our election process. What a self-serving load of hooey.

Dawson’s [South Carolina Rep. Party Chair] move sent the Internet buzzing last week with complaints that the primary process is broken and America needs regional primaries. That would be horrible for the country. Campaign costs would soar, only the most famous and richest candidates would have a prayer, and campaigns would devolve into nothing but sound bites and 30-second broadcast ads.

New Hampshire is king because our state is small and our people have more experience with self-government than any other people in America. The politicking that goes on here keeps candidates accountable and directly responsive to the people. That’s how it should be. And that’s why the primary is not dying yet.

More experience with “self-government?” Campaign costs would skyrocket without New Hampshire? If there were any more self-love in those 2 paragraphs I’d need a tissue. I’m already feeling dirty. It’s self-serving twaddle at it’s finest.

Election after election has seen good candidates who drop out because they don’t make a strong enough showing in a tiny little state that is hardly representative of America gets to vote first. Campaigns might become more expensive (public finance anyone??) but only because candidates would have to reach a much larger audience to win votes. No more little-state King Makers.

The Primary system is broken in this country. To few hold power over to many. It’s time for a change. I think the rest of us can handle the burden.

8 Responses to “New Hampshire Primary Necessary For Democracy? What Twaddle!”

  1. Jersey McJones Says:

    If New Hampshire and Iowa are true slices of Americana in toto, then I’m a mainstream partisan hack.

    JMJ

  2. Mike W. Welsh Says:

    From http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/33000.html

    The first percentage is New Hampshire, the second is the USA as a whole.

    White persons, percent, 2005 (a) 96.1% 80.2%

    Black persons, percent, 2005 (a) 1.0% 12.8%
    American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2005 (a) 0.2% 1.0%

    Asian persons, percent, 2005 (a) 1.7% 4.3%

    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2005 (a) 0.0% 0.2%

    Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2005 1.0% 1.5%

    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2005 (b) 2.2% 14.4%

    White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2005 94.1% 66.9%

  3. Mike W. Welsh Says:

    Yup, looks like a fair representation of the USA to me. *rolls eyes*

  4. Tom Baker Says:

    It’s the spittin image of our country for sure :)

  5. Jack Lab Says:

    Lets see now…If I understood the posts >, for a state to be “representative” it has to have every majority and minority ever in the US to be so. Pardon this native born NH person who was in government in NH, but that’s more racists then the folks at a Klan Klavern. NH is representative of the US by the very nature of its partisan and non-partisan political make up, and the broad social and economic strata of the population.
    It was, until the “Mass” migration in 74, a GOP stronghold. Now it is very close to even mix of registered republicans and democrats…with a whole bunch of independents/non aligned…to keep every one honest. I will admit that Bill Loeb, the late publisher of the MUL, did give a hint to racism in the State but it was “his” racism and not that of the people of the State. His Women’s Wear Daily comment in the late 60s about the black population in NH ‘it’s too cold for there F%&$%&@ black asses in NH’ (See: Who the hell is William Loeb-Kevin Cash) certainly came close to giving the state a black eye…pun intended. Bill died before PC took hold.
    The days of mad men governors such as Mel Thompson are as long gone as Bill Loeb. After Mel, I do not recall anyone trying to mount a .50 calibar machine gun on a 14 ft Boston Whaler to fight the “Lobster War” with Maine.
    Another migration in 2000/2001 added 400,000 residents to the state and about 60% of them are independents. Every political “stripe” is represented within the borders of NH. And the primary election is a POLITICAL event. Not a cultural event.
    People who raise the issue of RACE and ethnicity as a determinant of “representative” are an example of what is truly wrong in the US. LIVE FREE OR DIE is both a motto and a long held and strong belief in NH regardless of your race or ethnicity.

  6. Tom Baker Says:

    Sorry Jack, You will never convince me that a state that has less voters turning out than the city I live in should be a prime determinant as to what candidate will even be in the race when I get to vote. You can be proud of your state all you want, but the fact is you are not representative of the country.

    You also act as if you have a god given right to elect the President and then cry like a baby when other states want to actually have some say in the process. As a Floridian whose vote will not count this year, I can say with no reservation that I think you hold the country hostage. Your four state pledge has robbed my state of even hearing the candidates.

    The fact is no candidate would care about New Hampshire if you guys didnt force them to do so. That’s the sad truth and you know it. I agree you should live free or die. Maybe you should live up to that motto and allow candidates to campaign where they wish and when they wish without threatening them and holding the rest of us hostage.

  7. Jack Lab Says:

    One additional comment about the $ side of the Primary Campaigns. Do your own math regarding the spending of “public money” on Primaries. Some snap shots of cost Vs Income for and within the states.

    Columbia Mayor Bob Coble estimated the GOP debate last month generated $4 million locally, half the economic impact of a home college football game at the University of South Carolina.

    The Legislature appropriated $2.2 million for total expense, with the possibility of both primaries on the same day remaining uncertain. Beyond the economic investment the state financing represents (Clyburn says New Hampshire realized $306 million in impact from its 2000 primary), (Note: at a cost of 3 million public dollars) the events need the election expertise of the state system. That includes the use of voting machines.

    “We had people spending a lot of money on hotels, food, catering,” Coble said. “Every candidate has a party.” Restaurant owners like these events. “It brings people that have big wallets and even bigger egos and they can fill up a bar quickly,” said Mike Evans, general manager at Liberty Tap Room & Grill.

    The South Carolina Democratic Party has estimated it will cost $300,000 to put on the Jan. 29, 2008, primary. Republicans could expect similar costs. “Having both of them on the same day, sponsored and promoted by the state, would cost taxpayers less than $700,000 and could produce economic benefits of more than $400 million. This does not take into account the public relations benefits that could accrue to our tourism industry as a result of the media attention and personal introductions to South Carolinians’ smiling faces and South Carolina’s beautiful places.”

    Promoting positive economic impact on a State IS THE BUSINESS OF THE STATE! And, public relations impact and benefits can be and are measured!

  8. Jack Lab Says:

    Sorry Tom…your vote does not count because your party has so decreed. And these ARE Party Primarys…so your complaint is better sent to your party offices. It so happens I live in Florida also and my vote counts! :-) And as far as anyone holding the primary campaigns hostage…while NH certainly passed a law saying we would be “1st in the Nation” in the early 60s it is obvious that the political parties agree. So, your complaint is with your party, not my home state. Enjoy the weather…I certainly do and do not miss the cold and snow!

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