Random Thoughts on New Hampshire
Let me start by telling you what you already know: Both Clinton and McCain staged impressive comebacks last night in New Hampshire.
As is so often the case, the pollsters and talking heads were the big losers of the evening.
The guv did OK for a middle-tier candidate, nabbing 5 percent, so he's not coming home just yet. In related news, many New Hampshire voters seem to think he'd still make a good vice president.
Sure is a blast watching this horse race, isn't it? I wish I could've been there in person. New Hampshire is one of four states in the U.S. I've never visited. This isn't because I have any particular gripe against the Granite State. It's not like Maine, a state for which I have a passionate loathing. (What do I care about lobster! Over-priced! Over-rated!) And don't even get me started on Vermont. New Hampshire is on my list of states to visit, along with Alaska. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps in 2012.
I've occasionally daydreamed out loud about moving to ol' N.H., largely because it would be no small thrill to see the words "Live Free or Die" printed on my license plate. Plus, as a general rule, I hate political parties, and a large number of New Hampshirites seem to feel the same way.
Still, it's patently unfair that states like Iowa and New Hampshire play such a huge role in determining who will be the next leader of the free world. Yes, the current system cranks up excitement, but there are other more sporting ways to make presidential elections entertaining.
What if we threw in some federally mandated randomness, for example? (I think this might require a constitutional amendment, but how hard could that be?) The order of primaries and caucuses could be picked at random every presidential election cycle, with set intervals every week. To make it really interesting we could start with just one state-say on the second Tuesday of January-followed by two states on the third Tuesday, five states on the fourth Tuesday, then a whopping 10 states on Super Tuesday. Then everyone else.
Sounds like fun, no? The main attraction would be that the rest of the states would have a chance get involved when it matters instead of just glaring at the action from the sidelines. After all, as the bumper sticker says, "democracy is not a spectator sport." Or it shouldn't be. In a just world.
Still there's a chance that at least Democratic votes will still matter come Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, when the New Mexico Democratic Party holds its caucus along with a bazillion other states. Wouldn't it be nice to be relevant?