One choice above all: Vote
Well, folks, in a few days, we get to show the country why New Hampshire deserves to have the first-in-the-nation primary.
And we do that in a very simple way: By turning out in huge numbers to vote. It doesn’t matter your party, it doesn’t matter for whom you vote, and if we lived in Chicago, we’d say it doesn’t matter how often you vote next Tuesday. But we don’t live in Chicago, so you only get to vote once, for one candidate, either a Republican or a Democrat. For Democrats this year, there are but two choices, and how you reach a determination is up to you, of course.
By now, we all know where Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stand on a variety of issues, and where they differ. Pick one. Just vote. For Republicans, well … how many candidates does it take to make up a GOP primary ballot? As many as can pay the filing fee and get donors to pay the freight for their campaigning. Choices, choices, choices.
Folks, the national committees of the two major parties constantly talk about taking away our first-in-the-nation primary status. We think they can’t really do it because we have a state law that requires our secretary of state to schedule our primary one week ahead of any other. Great. So no one can ever beat us to the punch. But that doesn’t mean the national parties can’t punch us. If Republicans or Democrats decide, for instance, that California or New York should go first and set a primary schedule that way, but we jump in a week ahead, here’s what they can do: Refuse to seat any New Hampshire delegates won by primary candidates.
Do you think any candidate would bother to campaign here? If they want to nail us, they can nail us. But we can hold those wolves at bay. All we have to do is turn out Tuesday in such huge numbers that the parties will see how committed we are to the primary process, how we vet candidates, how we support them. Or, one supposes, reject them.
Four years from now, we don’t want to be sitting here watching candidates tramp through a much bigger state, fearing any New Hampshire delegates won’t count anyway. We want them to come here understanding that a good showing in the Granite State is important. It has been for years. Just ask Bill Clinton.
We can make sure it continues to be. For crying out loud, get out Tuesday and vote.