Friday, October 26, 2007

New Hampshire's turn as leader may be up

By Roger Simon
24 October 2007

At this point, the presidential nominating calendar for 2008 is more easily deplored than described.

Somebody is going to go first. We know that.

Maybe it will be New Hampshire. Or maybe not.

Maybe New Hampshire will go in December. Or maybe not.

After that, it gets kind of confusing.

I went to the Christian Science Monitor breakfast Wednesday to hear Carl Levin speak.

Levin is the senior Democratic senator from Michigan, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee and an expert on both foreign and domestic affairs.

He talked very knowledgeably for more than half an hour about Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, missile defense deployment in Europe, CAFE standards (which, interestingly enough, have nothing to do with cafes) and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

I didn’t pay any attention.

OK, I paid a little attention. I took notes (just in case any of it is on the final), but I had come for something far more important than things like war, peace and the environment.

I had come to hear Levin say bad things about New Hampshire.

Levin hates New Hampshire. Not the people or the foliage, just the fact that New Hampshire holds the first primary in the nation. (Levin also hates Iowa because it holds the first caucus in the nation, but he hates New Hampshire more.)

Levin has argued for years that New Hampshire is a small state that is not representative of the nation and it would make more sense for some other state — Michigan, for instance — to begin the nominating process.

By general agreement, the other 48 states allow New Hampshire and Iowa to go first because when those two states feel threatened, they go absolutely ballistic and vow to halt syrup and ethanol production and possibly form their own nation.




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