Editorial: Iowa doesnt pick the president

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 31, 2007

It is preposterous to presume the Iowa caucuses selects the next U.S. presidential nominees, as many political pundits, cartoonists and comedians are saying. Wasn&8217;t it a month or two ago those same folks were moaning about having too many presidential candidates?

The fact is, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary will shorten the field of candidates. It does everyone a huge favor. With the party conventions so far away and so many state contests between then and now, there is a long way to go before one candidate rises to the top for each party.

It&8217;s clear the Iowa caucus will not determine who will be the nominees. One drawback to moving the caucuses further up on the calendar is that they have less of an impact on the presidential race by the time spring and summer roll around.

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In fact, some states might consider moving their contests down the calendar to take advantage of the empty campaign time formed from all the others moving up.

Another drawback is that Iowans are coming off the holiday season and now are forced to make unreasonably early choices on presidential politics. Though Iowans have been bombarded with information and propaganda, it seems like a rushed decision in comparison with presidential caucuses in Iowa in past years.

One thing is sure: Iowa deserves to be first in the nation. It is an opportunity for candidates to discuss farm policy and other rural issues. Bigger places command attention because of their sheer size for most of the political calendar. Iowa represents several unheard segments of the country, and no one can doubt how Iowans take their decision very seriously. It has a well-educated populace, has usually a fairly even population of red and blue voters, has never in its history sought to secede from the Union, and has no major metro area that dominates the rest of the state.

Iowans seem to do a good job of concealing their choice until they actual vote, making the polls less important and making for an interesting caucus night.

Iowans caucus Jan. 3. America looks forward to seeing the results.