State primary means more in this horse race

  • Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:05am

To early, too late, too restrictive, too West, not West (California-style) enough …

Whatever characterization you prefer for the state’s Feb. 9 Democratic and Republican presidential caucuses and Feb. 19 primary, one thing for sure is that they will be interesting.

As the state parties began angling for their own processes to pick presidential delegates, some said the Feb. 9 caucus date would make Washington’s efforts moot. After all, the sage said, everything will be wrapped up by Feb. 5, the so-called “Super Tuesday” when 20 states have pegged their political pickings.

Ah, but not so fast; it turns out that this particular presidential cycle may be unique, with a true horse race to convention wire. So, maybe Feb. 5 is too early; perhaps Washington should have waited to be the final political plum.

Or is this new party-driven, declare-your-allegiance drivel a shackle on the independent nature of Washingtonians? Or maybe, nobody will care what a bunch of rain-soaked, half-frozen, left-leaning-even-for-Democrats crackpots think. Sure, we’re physically above California, but everyone knows the West Coast is bottom heavy.

For state Democrats, Feb. 9 is the day, the only day, that matters. Dems want all of their delegates picked through the caucuses. The GOP, on the other hand, decided to choose one from column A and one from column B, allocating half of their choices to the caucuses and half to a statewide primary just 10 days later.

And what if the state’s voters bridle at the attempt to be reined in by the parties’ leadership, forcing them into an unfamiliar position to participate in a partisan, rather than personality-driven, process?

Whatever the answers are to those and many more questions, the Washington caucuses and primary will be anything but an ineffectual footnote to the 2008 presidential races. Next Saturday, regardless of party preference or the weather, get out and participate.

Talk to us