Today could have been important

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 4, 2008

R-C News-Herald Editorial

Today is a big day nationally.

Voters in 24 states will go to the polls today and help determine the Republican and Democratic nominees for President of the United States on what has been dubbed Super Tuesday.

Unfortunately, we won’t be among those voters. No, as has become custom, one of the larger states in the country population-wise will have little or no input in the selection of nominees.

North Carolina, who has 15 electoral votes come November, will not hold its presidential primary until May 6. That is likely long after the Democrats have chosen between New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama and after the Republicans have made their selection between Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney.

It is likely that many of us in the state of North Carolina have an opinion as to the outcome of those races, but we will not have much of an opportunity to express it. By the time we vote, it likely will not matter.

What we can’t understand is why a state with as many voters as North Carolina didn’t feel the need to move the primary forward and have a say in national presidential politics.

It has become almost embarrassing how little presidential hopefuls campaign here in the tobacco state. We rarely see the person at the top of the ticket and often don’t see much more of the candidate for vice president.

If we moved the primary forward and had some say in the nomination process, the candidates might have more familiarity with the state and may actually campaign here.

We deserve to be an important player in national politics, but we rarely are. We have to make ourselves that way. We can’t wait for someone to hand it to us. We have to move ourselves to the front of the line.

Super Tuesday would have been a good place to start.