Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tomorrow's Iowa Caucus

I've been thinking about tomorrow's first caucus and how having a few states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina select the nominees for the rest of the country...or at least weed out candidates before they get to our state...seems a bit unfair. We are supposed to have equal say in who picks our leaders, and we do in the general election (for the most part), but absolutely not in the candidate selection process.

While Iowans are being hammered by phone calls, ads and personal appearances, Kansans will likely never see a single presidential candidate wooing us for our votes. Perhaps a midnight appearance at the Wichita or Kansas City airports.

I think it would be good to break it up into regional primaries, which would have the benefit of keeping candidates working states in a specific area for awhile, reducing their travel expenses and enabling locals throughout the region to see and hear from the candidates, and then the caravans move to the next region. There would be enough delegates in each region to enable someone who does poorly in the Midwest region to recover in the Northeast. The current scattershot approach of Iowa one week, New Hampshire the next, then South Carolina and then a bunch of states on one day means the vast majority of Americans will (a) not have much, if any, say in who their party's nominee is and (b) won't be exposed to them during the selection process other than the soundbites they pick up on the news.

The funny thing is that we seem to look for the next Reagan, which isn't out there, but if someone with his exact same personal and political background (that had seen its share of flopping on social issues) came along now, we would not call him Reaganesque because of the mythology and mystique we've created around Reagan. I don't know who I'd vote for yet, but I guess I don't have to decide. Iowans will pick for me!

And I still like to delude myself with the notion that Hillary is not electable. Aren't Americans tired of the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton thing? Do they want that cackle and scandals for the next 4-8 years? Tell me it isn't so! I'm sure she's beatable. Probably the most beatable Democrat out there. I don't think she would wear well during the long duration of the national campaign. She can be as tempered and non-shrill as her advisers convince her to be, but then again someone told her she needed to burst out in spontaneous laughter during interviews. Regardless of how she behaves herself, Republicans will be sure to roll out commercials loaded with cackles and shrill political speeches she's given to remind people what they're really getting.

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At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Wickle said...

Since I'm from NH, maybe I shouldn't say anything about this post ... hmmm ...

I do agree with you about the mythology of Ronald Reagan, though. Far too many people who don't remember a thing about the Reagan years idolize him, and even those who do have a skewed memory, especially of his gubernatorial record.

I have seen people speculating about whether the Club for Growth would put up with Reagan, considering his tax increases in California ... to say nothing of the massive tax increase he signed as President. But people don't remember that, and they hold candidates to an imaginary standard because of it.


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