Friday, March 02, 2007

Return of the smoke-filled (er, smoke-free) room?

Dick Morris has an interesting editorial in "The Hill" this week about next year's compressed presidential primary season and how it will take massive sums of money for candidates to be competitive. I don't know that either party's actual nominee will be anointed before the primaries begin, but it wouldn't surprise me if each party is down to two contenders by that point. For us politically interested cybergeeks, Morris makes the argument that both parties will have unofficial "virtual primaries," taking place on television networks, websites, and radio talk shows that are frequented by activists sympathetic to Republicans or Democrats. On its face, having nominees anointed, or choices severely restricted, before any votes are cast sounds very undemocratic. However, I don't know whether that's any less democratic than allowing the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire to effectively choose the nominees for the rest of the country. I do agree with Morris that the newly compressed primary schedule will have the effect of choosing nominees before their weaknesses as nationwide candidates can be exposed.

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