DATE: 1/06/2004 09:12:00 AM
ENOUGH! - Kate O'Beirne, writing in National Review Online, says it's time to strip Iowa and New Hampshire of their status as first primary states. Of course, I'm from Maine and would like nothing better than to see our cranky neighbor lose the status symbol they lord over the rest of us every four years. New Hampshire voters are spoiled rotten by the attention they get. In 2000, a friend and I campaigned for George W. Bush in New Hampshire and I was appalled at the attitude of those in the state - to them, having the first primary of the season is a right, not a privilege. They are so accustomed to having personal attention from the candidates that it distorts the popularity of certain candidates (John McCain, for example). O'Beirne puts it well:
New Hampshire is now home to thousands of self-absorbed professional voters who have served too long as campaigns' laboratory rats. Granite State voters don't vote for candidates, they send messages to the political establishment.The voters of New Hampshire and Iowa have distorted the campaign process for too long - it's time to change the way parties choose a candidate, no matter how much the voters of those states whine (and trust me, they will).