Category Archives: hilary clinton

>OBSERVATION: Iowa and New Hampshire (yawn)

>Well … finally we are in the home stretch of the Iowa caucuses, to be quickly followed by the New Hampshire primary. Like Paris Hilton, they seem to enjoy an enormous amount of publicity solely because they exist.

The “first in the nation” status gives them unique advantage. First, the start off position provides them with disproportionate publicity for many weeks leading up to the votes. Succeeding primaries have to wait to receive press attention until the results of earlier votes. In some cases, the national media spotlight does not hit a state until a week or two before the vote.

Secondly, they have an appearance of importance that is belied but hindsight. Rarely do the outcomes of these states provide any real insight or advantage to the future candidacy. In fact, they are venues in which the most obvious front runners do well or where the future losers seem to look like winners for a very short time. In either case, the impact of Iowa and New Hampshire on the race is dubious at best.

This may be due to the fact that, despite chest beating to the contrary, the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire are not representative of the American fabric. For one thing, they don’t have any big city, urban citizens. Their “opinion” of the candidates does not carry much weight in the rest of the country. These two small states produce warm homilies and pretty imagery – classic Americana – but little political capital.

After all, what is the importance of a win in Iowa and New Hampshire if a candidate is going to take a drubbing in states like California, New York and Illinois? Conversely, what is the importance of a win in Iowa and New Hampshire if a candidate already is poised to carry states like California, New York and Illinois? We tend to give a lot of importance to Iowa and New Hampshire prior to the vote, and then completely ignore the results as the contest heads to the big delegate states.

Iowa and New Hampshire are like the coming attractions at the movies. No matter how interesting they try to make them, you’re glad when they are over and you can move on to the main feature.