All Politics is National?
In the past 48 hours, I have heard both Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton attempt to lower expectations for New Hampshire by noting that their strategy has always been to run a national campaign. For Giuliani, whose campaign presence in New Hampshire has always been uneven, this statement is consistent with his prior behavior. Since mid-November, he has largely looked past New Hampshire to Florida on January 29th and to the 24 state primaries and caucuses on February 5th. But for Clinton, who just a few days ago stated that New Hampshire represented a fresh start for her campaign, the statement underscores a sudden realization that her first opportunity to gain any significant traction may well be in some of the states holding contests on February 5th.
If either Giuliani or Clinton is able to capture their party’s nomination without winning any of the early contests, then we will know for sure that the frontloaded schedule has fundamentally altered the dynamics of the presidential selection process, moving us sharply toward a more nationalized style of politicking. Some would argue that we have already moved significantly in that direction, just through the tremendous impact of digital technology and the internet on how campaigns run, and on how voters consume political information. A fragmented field of Republican winners may provide Giuliani with the opportunity he seeks. But if Hillary Clinton is able to win the Democratic nomination, after losing to Barack Obama in three or four early contests, then we will know for sure that, whatever New Hampshire’s future role in the presidential selection process, all politics is no longer local.
Posted On: 01-08-2008 13:04:57 by T. Kumaran
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