2008 elections: which state deserves the boost?
by PsiFighter37, Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 06:04:24 PM EDT
(cross-posted at Deny My Freedom)
There has been so much going in recent days - and on issues of fairly great importance - that I'm not too surprised that I haven't read anything around the blogosphere regarding an issue that will have an impact on the Democratic Party's nomination process. In a story that slipped under the radar, the DNC decided to only let in two additional states into the early going of the presidential nomination process instead of four states, which had been the original plan.
CONCORD, N.H. - A Democratic National Committee panel considering changes to the presidential primary calendar voted Thursday to allow just two other states to join Iowa and New Hampshire in voting early in 2008.
If the full DNC adopts the recommendation, one state would be allowed to hold a caucus between Iowa's caucus and the New Hampshire primary, and a second would hold a primary shortly after the New Hampshire contest.
This is a good step forward for our nomination process. Even though the small size of Iowa and New Hampshire allow for true retail politics, and both are swing states in this day and age, they simply aren't representative of the demographics of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, just how important is retail politics? In local races, I think that retail politics is an absolute must; however, in the race for president, most people won't even get to see the candidates in person, much less interact with them on a personal level. Frankly, most politicians are going to come off as nice guys (or women) when you speak to them up-close. You can tell your friends you may have met the future president, but ultimately, I don't think retail politics by presidential candidates is that important. It's the retail politics by the grassroots on a local level that will be make a bigger difference.
As the aforementioned article mentions, ten states, along with the District of Columbia, are applying to be the lucky two who will gain prominence in the primary system. They are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and West Virginia. Of these choices, I think it's imperative to choose states that are in regions not represented by either Iowa or New Hampshire; this limits the possible states to those in the mid-Atlantic region, the South, and the West. To be frank, I think that Hawaii and D.C. can be quickly eliminated - Hawaii because of the geographical space and time it would take to campaign there, and D.C. because it is so intensely Democratic to begin with.
For the South, I think that Arkansas is clearly the best choice. It's a state that has remained predominantly Democratic on the national level, even though it has voted for Bush twice. Both senators (Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor) are Democrats, and 3 of the 4 representatives in the House are Democrats. While the rest of the South has rapidly filled its seats with Republicans, Arkansas remains a bastion of Democratic politics, and I think that our candidates would be best served by going to the state and learning something about politicking in the region aside from what Bill Clinton may have to say.
My next choice would most likely be Colorado, with Arizona coming in a close second. In 2004, as chronicled in Crashing The Gate, Democrats were able to force Democrats to put aside their stakes in various interest groups and unite for a common goal - getting our party back into a position of power. Not only did we pick up the Senate seat, but we also took over both houses of the state legislature. It'd be a wonderful place for our candidates to learn not to kowtow to the interest groups but to recognize that electing Democrats will allow these groups to be heard, something that is clearly not happening under Republican rule unless you have money.
By adding other states to the primary schedule, we may be able to select a candidate who represents all of us, not just the will of two states that are not the best representation of the Democratic Party. It can only help us out, and it's breaking down yet another institution of the old guard. That's what crashing the gate is all about.