Sunday, August 26, 2007

A political primer on primaries

Andrew Malcolm blogged on Los Angeles Times Primary elections were instituted by the Founding Fathers in legislative earmarks to boost hotel, restaurant and television station revenues in New Hampshire and Iowa at a time of year when no one in their right mind would go to either place. Iowa turned a daytime primary election into a nighttime caucus because the farm chores are supposed to be done by dark and Monday Night Football is over by January.... Iowa has become such an important part of the presidential selection process because with all of its empty space and 95% white population it is so totally unrepresentative of the American nation. New Hampshire is an essential part of the primary process because the Manchester Union-Leader says it is and no politician wants to be the one to tell that newspaper that the 19th century ended some time ago.... In recent years a lot of other states, most of them equally unimportant and unrepresentative, decided to horn in on all the TV coverage and hotel revenues. Nevada, which leads the nation in sandy desolation, has a caucus now on Jan. 19, the same day as South Carolina Republicans vote, while their state's Democrats wait for Jan. 29 just to be different.... And a whole bunch of states, including California, have moved their primaries to Feb. 5, thinking earlier will make them more important. (In fact, don't tell New Hampshire, but Californians can actually start voting Jan. 3 when absentee ballots go out.)

And it provides the press something to do in 2007 concerning themselves with a process to choose someone that will not take office until 2009.

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