One of the eternal battles that unite New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats is the preservation of New Hampshire’s status as the first primary state in the presidential nomination season.
In-state and out-of-state pundits talk about our primary as part of the “New Hampshire experience,” that it’s as New Hampshire as the Old Man of the Mountain.
Well, the Old Man is now a pile of granite rubble on the shores of Profile Lake and the state still thrives. So here are 10 reasons why our state would be better off without having the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
1. Gives Tom Rath, Joe McQuaid and Kathy Sullivan entirely too much national media.
2. Presidential campaigns and media RVs clutter up the snowbound roads of New Hampshire.
3. Presidential candidates break into homes and forcibly canvass New Hampshire residents at their breakfast tables.
4. Really has not been a factor in preserving the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
5. Far too many New Hampshire political hacks get cushy federal appointments and ambassadorships to extremely minor nations. (Actually that might be a good thing, since it gets them out of the state for a while.)
6. Ariana Huffington stalks New Hampshire city streets at night. (This I personally witnessed.)
7. We are the object of snippy editorial comments by non-New Hampshire writers (especially in Delaware and Rhode Island), decrying the fact that our state is an inappropriate state for the first primary. This diminishes our collective self-esteem. (I know that my self esteem is diminished and it drives me to tears.)
8. Candidates show up on local radio call-in shows and cable access political shows and do not say a damn thing worth repeating. Those candidates who say things worth repeating are too minor and fringy to do well in the primary.
9. Preserving the first-in-the-nation primary is used as an excuse to kill legislation that would make it easier for independent voters to participate in the primary. Having independent voters vote in Wisconsin’s primary never hurt the importance of that state’s Presidential primary.
10. Foreign press comes in the state and buys up all the liquor.
Scott E. Green is a freelance writer and former state representative who lives in Manchester.
This article appears in the March 4 2005 issue of New Hampshire Business Review