Wednesday, February 6, 2008

North Carolina and the Presidential Race

Lots of discussion the last few days about when North Carolina has its Presidential primary.

I think the biggest thing keeping us from moving up in the primary calendar is that the wrong person is pushing it. Andrew Brock, a Republican senator, has probably been the loudest voice on this issue. I won't call him the leading voice because usually leading entails accomplishing something, and Brock hasn't made any head way.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't tend to go out of its way to support legislation being pushed solely by Republican back benchers so it's gone nowhere.

I think the best shot for North Carolina to move up is for a Democratic House member to take up the cause.

If the cost of having two primaries is really the issue for the state, here's an interesting fact. Illinois had its entire primary last night. They did in 2004 too. Because the person they voted in as the Democratic nominee for the US Senate held that mantle from March on, it allowed him to build up some national exposure. He got invited to speak at the Democratic convention. The rest is history.

If Illinois had its primary in the late summer or early fall like many states do, Barack Obama never would have been launched onto the national stage at the Democratic convention. Even if the primary was in May like ours is, it's hard to build up enough cred in a short enough period of time to get invited to give a prime time speech as a state senator and candidate for US Senate.

Illinois having its whole primary early in the year was one of those small things that may end up defining history.

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