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View Diary: Iowa: who the hell knows? (401 comments)

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  •  It kills me that a small, rural state with (6+ / 0-)

    a very non-diverse population plays such an important role in the presidential selection process.

    •  So Ohio (0+ / 0-)

      or Missouri should be the first primary?

      "Sometimes I wish I could change my nickname" Me

      by givemhellHarryR on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 04:35:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  California would be better? (3+ / 0-)

      besides the huge expense, the fight for the nomination would end the next day.

      Kos alwasy complains about Iowa and people love to follow along, but the alternatives aren't that good either without real election and campaign finance reform.

      The system is rigged - John Edwards

      by okamichan13 on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 04:39:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not a national primary ...? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Chicago Lulu

        Obama proved an outsider can be financially competitive, and so might Edwards if he'd had to run a national campaign instead of planning to catapult out of Iowa.

        The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

        by al Fubar on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 05:07:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Public financing mandatory (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chicago Lulu, Terra Mystica

          Everybody gets a certain amount and can spend no more.  Then a national primary would be good. Get rid of 527's too and anything else that make sneak in there.

          That would free up the candidates to be either at events or doing their job back in Washington instead of fund raising.  And it levels the playing field to see who can spend their money the wisest.

        •  A national primary won't help (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With a national primary, the whole campaign for the nomination would be over with as soon as the money is raised.  There would be no reason to campaign outside California and a few other delegate rich states.  

          Is Iowa the perfect place for the process to begin?  No -- there is no perfect place.  But Iowa is better than most states for the process -- mostly a self-contained media market with fairly low cost for airtime, a battleground state with both parties competitive.  Candidates are not obliged to run in Iowa -- most choose to because they see it as politically advantageous, but candidates in both parties have skipped Iowa in the past and in the current campaign.  

          Iowa serves as a place where a little-known candidate can establish credibility without having an existing national fundraising base -- something impossible in a national primary, or even a series of regional primaries.  

          While many talk about a purely federally financed campaign, changing the system to cut out the donors would raise some other concerns.  Would every candidate  meeting the minimum standards to run in a primary be entitled to a taxpayer-financed ego trip?  Should Mike Gravel or Karl Kreuger be entitled to spend the same as Obama, Clinton and Edwards?  If I decided to run for president and could gather enough signatures, would I be entitled to run a national campaign with federal money? Doesn't sound like the best use of taxpayers' funds.  

          While it is certainly true that the Iowa caucuses are not widely attended, the people who do attend are actually the people who will need to be there in the campaigns -- the activists and the people who read the blogs and the papers, and burn the shoeleather and the midnight oil for their candidates.  

          But assuming that money or some other mechanism serves as "the first primary," we need Iowa or something like it to further winow the field.

          Historically Iowa has not served to pick the eventual nominee -- only to cut out those who probably could not have gone the distance anyway.  I'm guessing that we'll see Senators Biden and Dodd back on the Senate floor more regularly real soon; and probably by March or so either Clinton or Obama or both will be fulltime lawmakers as well.  

          •  Iowa (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terra Mystica, IADave

            Who do you want to cull your presidential candidates? Do you want some dumbass who bases his choice on a television commercial and has no idea what the issues are in the world? Or do you want people that are actively involved and force these candidates to relate to regular people and answer their questions? Yes, the traditional media puts too much emphasis on Iowa. But if you have a good candidate and politician, Bill Clinton, he or she can overcome that. Dean's problem here was that he had too much money and brought in all these people that were going to inform those hick Iowans. They didn't convince 'em.

            "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived." Emerson

            by dbrog on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 07:39:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  in a lot of ways, yes (0+ / 0-)

        California wouldn't be ideal either, but I think it'd be a better overall choice than Iowa in terms of representing the diversity of Americans. But at the very least some sort of rotation would be nice.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 11:28:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They have the highest SAT scores in Iowa! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suswa, Terra Mystica
    •  We need a national primary (4+ / 0-)

      as part of public financing. If it's a national race without election reform, it'll go to the establishment candidate and/or celebrity.

    •  It is a mistake to diss small rural communities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, Terra Mystica

      They are a big part of this country.  I have learned much about American politics since I retired to such a community after being a city slicker all my life.

      An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 06:11:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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