Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday 12-27

Do you trust Iowans to decide which candidate would best represent your favorite party on the November ballot? How about the people of New Hampshire? Or South Carolina? Even though Wisconsin moved up its primary date to mid-February from March--there will likely be little drama--or choices--left in the races.

I'm not sure how the tiny states of Iowa and New Hampshire got to be the first to vote (or caucus) on the Presidential campaigns--but I don't think its fair. Based on the fact the campaign started three years ago in those states, every resident has probably had at least two face-to-face meetings with each of the candidates. By the time the campaigns reach Wisconsin in a couple of months, the rallies will all be huge events with tight security and the candidates speaking from their scripts from the stage. Maybe I want Hillary Clinton to hear about my concerns personally. John Deer of Corn Lick, Iowa and Edith Kennedy-Smith-Shepardspie of Gobblers Knob, New Hampshire probably got the chance.

There is a reason these states keep moving their "First in the Nation" contests earlier and earlier to stay ahead of all the other states. If they didn't, nobody would ever consider going there. Do you think Rudy Giuliani really relates to the "great people of the heartland" or that any of the "old-timahs" in New England can understand half of what Mike Huckabee says?

I would rather see a series of national, elimination primaries where total votes knock off the stragglers. The first round could trim the field to four in each party, the quarter-finals would leave us with two candidates and the finals would give us the November tickets. Maybe we could put the candidates in brackets like the NCAA Basketball tournament and we could all have office pools. That might increase interest in politics--the chance to win big bucks.

The key to my plan is that it establishes who would really have the national appeal needed to win in November. It would also neutralize the influence certain sub-groups within the parties would have on selecting nominees. The downside? More endless political ads--and therefore more money influence. But at least you and I here in Wisconsin would have some actual say in who represents our party--instead of letting Iowa and New Hampshire have all of the fun.

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