See You in Charleston!
But, first, see you in Concord!
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Oh, watch this:
[Trump’s] former dinner guests fanned the flames on Thursday with fresh incendiary comments on the Infowars show of Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist. “I like Hitler,” said Mr. West, who now goes by the name Ye, adding that “Hitler has a lot of redeeming qualities.” He added that “we got to stop dissing Nazis all the time,” and he denied that the Holocaust happened.
At another point, Mr. Fuentes voiced his support for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, calling himself “very pro-Putin” and “very pro-Russia.” Ye agreed: “I am also.” (New York Times)
Crazy but sane prediction: Donald Trump will soon uncharacteristically repudiate Fuentes and Ye. He might even express regret for having that dinner.
Here is the top of the Washington Post scoop (quickly matched by the Associated Press and others) on President Biden’s decision to push the Democratic National Committee to change its nominating calendar:
President Biden has asked leaders of the Democratic National Committee to make South Carolina the nation’s first primary state, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada a week later, and hold subsequent weekly primaries in Georgia and Michigan, according to Democrats briefed on the plans.
The tectonic decision to remake his party’s presidential nominating calendar for 2024 came as a shock to party officials and state leaders who had been lobbying hard in recent weeks to gain a place in the early calendar, which historically attracts millions of dollars in candidate spending and attention. While many in the party had long anticipated changes, the specific order Biden proposed had generated little if any chatter in Democratic circles. Much of the talk among Democrats had not focused much on either South Carolina going first or Georgia joining the early mix.
The proposal is likely to win approval from the Democratic officials, given the support from the leader of the party. By breaking with decades of tradition, Biden’s move is meant to signal his party’s commitment to elevating more variety — demographic, geographic and economic — in the early nominating process. Iowa, a largely White state that historically held the nation’s first Democratic caucus and experienced embarrassing problems tabulating results in 2020, would have no early role in the Biden plan.
There are a lot of implications here for the, uhm, 500 of us who have thought about these matters for decades.
Here are just some of my thoughts/questions, with many more to come:
1. Democrats and Republicans will almost certainly now have vastly different schedules for the early states, which more than anything else raises questions for media coverage -- in an area in which the press’ influence is higher than in almost any aspect of American life. The reason that the early-voting states matter is because the media says they matter. Would, say, separate Democratic and Republican New Hampshire primaries matter as much as when they are held on the same day?
2. Don’t pay much attention to the question I have just raised, because the bipartisan powers that be in the Granite State are going to hold their bipartisan primaries together around Labor Day 2023 if necessary to stay first in the nation. Bill Gardner may no longer be the secretary of state, but Lou D'Allesandro is alive and well and is not going to put up with this affront. New Hampshire has a lot of cards to play for the next year. And New Hampshire will play them.
3. Republican-controlled legislatures and governors will not let all of the Biden proposed changes happen, so, even if, as expected, the DNC adopts the president’s proposal in full, the chances are high that not all of it will play out as suggested when the voters vote in 2024. And once some threads begin to be pulled, let’s see where things actually land.
4. A rough version of this schedule is possible if Joe Biden runs for reelection effectively unopposed. If he doesn’t run, a schedule like this will cause all heck to break loose, for reasons you either get without my explaining why – or no amount of explaining will make clear. But this schedule in a Biden-less field will be madcap, with unintended consequences galore.
5. The calendar the Democrats (and Republicans) have used for the last two generations has comically and tragically super empowered two states (Iowa and New Hampshire) whose lack of diversity made them patently unfit to wield the massive influence they have had. And/but if you think the political and civic cultures of ANY of the other 48 states comes even close to the traditional first-in-the-nation duo in creating a human-scale, substantive, and level-ish playing field, you need to think again. Let’s hope the elites and citizens in any states (including South Carolina and Nevada) that move up take this responsibility very seriously. Otherwise, fame and money is all that will matter in winning nominations.
6. Today’s media coverage treats Biden’s position as the last word in setting the Democrats’ schedule. That is a big mistake. Iowa and Minnesota might fold, but New Hampshire will not. Mr. Biden could choose to not campaign in the primary there, so in a sense that fight might not come to a head. But keep watching. This will be a forty-five act play, and we are currently watching ACT II.
7. More more more tk as I hear from additional sources and think about this extensively. Send me your thoughts (ER and Reggie, that means you) on what I have missed!
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