Saturday, September 02, 2006

Broder's overlooked possibility

Amidst David Broder's rant against the changes to the Democratic primary calendar, he brings out the likely problem:

In the early primaries, eight or 10 people may be vying. What is most needed is time -- and a place -- for them to be carefully examined.

Historically, New Hampshire has fulfilled that responsibility. Voters there -- in both parties and especially among the numerous independents who also vote in the primary -- take their role seriously. They turn up at town meetings and they ask probing questions. So do the interviewers at local papers and broadcast stations. So do high school students.

New Hampshire voters don't need -- or particularly want -- guidance from Iowa, and frequently they ignore the Iowa results. But they are stuck with Iowa. Now, thanks to the Democrats, they may be stuck with Nevada as well, and crowded from behind by South Carolina.

...but manages to overlook that, apparently, the rest of the party is dissatisfied with the results they've gotten by relying on New Hampshire.


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