Tonight at St. Anselm College, the New Hampshire Democrats sponsored a panel discussion on the importance of the Granite State primary. The panel featured Bill Shaheen, Dante Scala, Bill Schneider, Carl Cameron, John DiStaso and Ovide Lamontagne. Here are some highlights of the discussion:
-Gov. Lynch reinforced his previous statement that the primary will remain first.
-He also argued that the DNC has only exacerbated the problem and political insiders are trying to destroy the traditional system.
-John DiStaso told the audience that the primary will only matter to big name candidates because lesser-known contenders will not be able to raise the money needed for February 5th.
-Bill Schneider, in an ironic moment, announced to the crowd that California had just moved up its primary to February 5th. Ohh the irony...he made the announcement about a state that is trying to gain political importance, in the state that is trying to retain its position. The CNN analyst also said that the Iowa caucuses is"Soviet voting," because there are no secret ballots.
-Finally, Bill Shaheen argued that the traditional primary system, Iowa then NH, will be maintained after the 2008 election. He said that having a quasi-national primary on February 5th is going to cause the DNC to rethink it's position.