Terry McAuliffe campaigns for Hillary, cracks jokes | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 12, 2007

Terry McAuliffe campaigns for Hillary, cracks jokes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2007 at 1:05 PM

Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, was in full pitching form at the Clinton School this morning — much of his speech was a stand up routine based on material from his new book. Did you know the corpse of McAuliffe’s father was examined by a suspicious narc dog? That the South Korean media once mistook McAuliffe for Bill Clinton’s lover? That the president has been known — gulp — to cheat at golf?

McAuliffe also had a lot to say about the upcoming election and why, of course, Hillary should be and will be the next president. Some of the foreign policy analysis was a bit suspect—McAuliffe suggested that Hillary will send Bill to the Middle East and he’ll “talk to the Sunnis and Shia and we’ll get this thing together.” He was a bit better on a question about how the campaign plans to brand Hilary’s healthcare proposal to avoid the “socialized medicine” stigma. Answer: The focus will be on choice. There may be a mandate to purchase care, but there will be a wide range of options.

McAuliffe predicted that the primaries will be over by February 5th, the new Super Tuesday date, when around twenty states, including Arkansas, will vote for their parties’ candidates. The first caucus, in Iowa, could be as early as January 3rd.

If you’ve been following politics recently, you know that the whole primary system has spun into chaos, with states continually moving up their election dates despite sanctions against them for doing so. The Democratic National Convention stripped Florida of its delegates for moving its primary up to January, and the Edwards and Obama campaigns have pulled out of Michigan in protest of the state’s new January 15th primary date.

McAuliffe touched on the problem, but he didn’t go very deep into it. He briefly mentioned the possibility of a switch to a regional primary system. The idea has been discussed elsewhere—the parties would hold their elections in staggered regional blocks that would change every cycle. (If the South votes first one year, the Midwest might be first the next time around.) 

I couldn’t get my question in, but I wanted to ask McAuliffe about another possibility—what about a national primary? Sure, it would raise a huge stink in politically prominent states, and it would probably cause a riot among the states’ rights crowd in general. But it would also be a fairly simple answer to a huge mess.

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