In an effort to kiss up to New Hampshire voters, Jon Huntsman has decided to boycott the Nevada Caucuses on January 14th and was joined by Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum. All are well back of the pack in Nevada and had no organization in the state, prompting Washoe GOP County Chairman Dave Buell to mockingly say, “On no, are we going to lose Gary Johnson too?”
The top three competitors in New Hampshire: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul aren’t joining the boycott. Neither is Texas Governor Rick Perry (R-Tx) who has the endorsement of the Governor. No one taking part in this boycott (other than perhaps Huntsman) has any shot at winning either Nevada or New Hampshire.
To be fair to the Nevada GOP, this situation and New Hampshire power play is quite unfair as told by Nevada GOP National Committeeman Bob List. “They told us to pick your date and as soon as you do, we will pick our date, and we complied with that request.”
At this point, it really looks like New Hampshire Secretary Bill Gardener is showing levels of power-madness not seen since Captain Bligh commanded the Bounty and is set to give us our first December presidential primary needlessly. New Hampshire’s spot as first in the nation primary is not threatened by a caucus 4 days later, but its relevance is threatened by Gardener’s movie.
Rick Santorum was right when he warned what this will do to New Hampshire’s status. “It will make this primary irrelevant. You move this primary up to where you only have six or seven weeks to campaign, it becomes a big straw poll.”
Gardener does have a face-saving out and that is to hold the New Hampshire Primary on Saturday, January 7th, a full week before Nevada. Being first in the nation may be a requirement of state law, but holding the thing on a Tuesday isn’t. It’s merely a preference. If New Hampshire voters had their choice, I’m sure they’d rather vote on the first Saturday of 2012, rather than right before the Christmas shopping rush.
Regardless of whether New Hampshire does this crazy thing, Iowa’s better in that as the Caucus is run by the state parties, they have the luxury of being able to use their brains. Just because New Hampshire to walk off into political oblivion doesn’t mean that Iowa has to follow them over the precipise.