So, Florida is joining the effort to tell the Democratic National Committee to go to ... well ... heck. And rightly so. The DNC plans of last year to try to dilute the importance of New Hampshire's First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary backfired and just contributed to messing up the schedule, encouraging lots of the bigger states to move their events closer to the beginning and contribute to "front-loading," and otherwise confusing the process even more. They should have let things be.
You can't blame Florida for setting their primary to January 29th, a week before the mega-primary of 12 states, including New York, New Jersey, and California set for February 5th.
And you can't blame South Carolina if that state decides to move to the previous Saturday, or even a week before Florida, which would set it to the "anticipated" date of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, January 22nd...
What would happen if that occurs? Well, that law that I had something to do with dating back to the 1970s would kick in, and our Secretary of State would be required to move our primary at least 7 days earlier, to January 15th. And the Nevada caucus, already set to go before New Hampshire, tentatively on January 19th, would likely remain on that date, so New Hampshire would be the second major event again, right behind Iowa. Iowa would likely stay on Monday, January 14th.
But wait, New Hampshire COULD move to January 8th, and even come before Iowa. Oh, what to do?
My guess, and it's not my decision -- I might have written a few of the laws to give our Secretary of State the tools to use, but they're his to use and he does that very well -- is that the date of the NH Primary will be earlier in January than most anyone expects. And that's a good thing -- because with all the other states moving the way they are, they have made the New Hampshire First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary look like it's on steroids this time around.
I'm guessing we'll be before Nevada, and right after Iowa. That's my suggestion to the Secretary of State. But he's an independent spirit, and he won't tell us until late November or early December. I bet he plays a mean game of Monopoly.
The big question will be how all this confusion and gameplaying on the part of the DNC will contribute toward messing things up in 2012.
The Republican National Committee, to its credit, hasn't conspired with the DNC this year. Let's hope it doesn't do so next time, because the primaries and caucuses may well begin in 2011. Because New Hampshire WILL remain first. And thank goodness, because it's better for the democratic process to have a few smaller events before those mighty big ones, whenever they are.