August 29, 2007

As The Paradigm Shifts

It used to be the road to the Presidency ran through Nashua, NH, which acted like a magnet for those seeking their party's nomination. I think it dates back to as early as the fifties when NH made such a difference. You'd see all this footage of politicians sitting in diners with rustic-looking locals, jawing about the issues of the day.

For a long time now, candidates would traditionally spend almost the entire winter prior to a Presidential election pandering to the flannel-wearing population of New Hampshire and, to be honest, I always found it kind of odd that a potential nominee had to go to so much trouble to impress one little state in order to springboard into national media recognition.


I say it's high time the process got shaken up. Now with all the early primaries, a victory or 2nd place showing in NH won't mean as much as it once did. In order to pick up delegates on the Super-duper Mega Sized Tuesday primary day on February 5th, the candidates will need to make important decisions about where their best chances are in states all over the country.

So here we are fourteen months out from November 2008 and the Manchester Union-Leader comes out with a foot-stomping editorial demanding that Fred Thompson show himself at a NH debate next month.

If Thompson announces before the debate, New Hampshire voters will expect him to be at the University of New Hampshire with the other announced candidates. A no-show will be counted here as a snub.

If Thompson waits until after the debate to make his announcement, it will appear to some as if he timed the announcement just to avoid the New Hampshire debate. That would give his foes the chance to say he is either not serious about running for the nomination or is too unprepared to be considered a credible candidate.

Politically, Thompson ought to come to the debate. Avoiding it costs him stature, which is his chief political commodity right now.

We know that state GOP chairman Fergus Cullen and the co-sponsoring FOX News team would be happy to find a spot on stage for Fred Thompson even if he announces his candidacy the day of the debate. Timing is no excuse for missing this event.

A snub? Oh dear Lord! How dare he!

Look, odds are no matter what happens between now and January Mitt Romney will win the NH primary because he's their neighbor - just like Michael Dukakis did in 1988 and Paul Tsongas in 1992. So why should Ol' Fred bother? He should be spending time in South Carolina, California, Michigan and Florida.

The Union-Leader writes "Timing is no excuse for missing this event."

Horse-puckey. If Thompson goes on to win the nomination it won't be because he did or didn't attend a debate in NH when the election is over a year away and NOBODY was paying attention anyway.

Hey New Hampshire, get over yourself. You're not the King-maker anymore. Deal with it.

Posted by Gary at August 29, 2007 04:05 PM | TrackBack