Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Come Back New Hampshire

Yvonne Abraham had a great rant in the Boston Globe this weekend about the key role New Hampshire has traditionally played in the presidential primaries. I hope I can capture the essence, but if not please read the original article.

There is a constant debate about whether it is a good idea to have two small and unique states such as Iowa and New Hampshire with such as important role in the primaries.  Winning in one of these two states can snowball into more media attention, more big money contributions, jumps in the polls, which then leads to wins in the next few states, more media attention, more big money, higher poll numbers, and so on.  On the other hand, losing in these states can do the same thing in reverse.

But Yvonne has a good point in favor.  Historically, New Hampshire has required candidates to go small town by small town, meeting with individuals and very small groups who were relentless in interrogating them on their positions.  They would press and press until they got the real scoop on the candidate.  They cut through the bullshit pretty effectively.  You could never have this in California, Texas, or New York – just too many people and neighborhoods.  A small state like New Hampshire is perfect for this.

But I did say it was a rant, didn’t I? She laments that they have abandoned this key role.  They have allowed candidates like Donald Trump to jet in, bluster in his unique demogogic way, and jet out. No interrogation.  No real scoop.  Now, they are doing the opposite of their traditional role.  A candidate can spend just a little money to convince some key influencers and win the state. They get that snowball effect at bargain basement prices.  This makes it easy for a candidate to fake his or her way to the nomination with a good fa├žade.

So to paraphrase Yvonne – Shame on you New Hampshire!!!  You have a key role to play in the primaries. Get on it before it’s too late !!