47°F
weather icon Cloudy

STEVE SEBELIUS: Back off, New Hampshire!

President Joe Biden and the Democrats have offended New Hampshire.

Inflation? Energy policy? Border issues with Canada? A ban on TikTok?

No, it’s the presidential primary calendar that has Granite Staters pig-biting mad.

Back in February, the Democratic National Committee decided to shake up the calendar, moving South Carolina to the No. 1 spot for 2024, and dropping New Hampshire to the No. 2 spot, to a date it would share with Nevada.

And while Nevada’s not exactly excited about sharing, New Hampshire burns with the anger of a thousand suns.

You see, New Hampshire state law not only specifies it must hold the first primary of every presidential year, but that no other state may hold a primary within seven days of New Hampshire, so that the rest of the nation may absorb the wisdom of its selection.

New Hampshire voters, you see, are wicked smaaaat. Just not wicked smaaaat enough to live in a place where you don’t have to shovel snow off your driveway every winter.

I kid! I kid the “Go First or Die” state.

The DNC had good reasons for the switch, even if it was entirely biased toward Biden, who did very well in South Carolina in 2020 and who has never done well in New Hampshire. Among them: New Hampshire is as white as a turkey sandwich with mayo on Wonder Bread at a yacht club, while South Carolina and Nevada have racial diversity. (New Hampshire is 92.8 percent white, per the Census Bureau, and just 1.9 percent Black and 4.4 percent Latino. South Carolina is 26.7 percent Black, while Nevada is 30 percent Latino.)

In Democratic terms, those states look like America, which is true inasmuch as they have Wal-Marts, Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee’s aplenty.

But to New Hampshire — which has enjoyed first-in-the-nation primary status since Moses descended from Mount Sinai (or since 1920, definitely one of those) — the affront was too much to bear. State officials pledged to hold the primary first, regardless of the DNC calendar and notwithstanding any penalties the Democrats may impose. (New Hampshire knows that Democrats are soft on lawbreaking, so they’re probably planning to take advantage of some “restorative justice” program.)

But just in case, New Hampshire is going even further. There’s a movement to amend the state’s constitution to cement the first-in-the-nation birthright, forever and ever. The New Hampshire state Senate has unanimously approved a resolution, and if at least 60 percent of the state House of Representatives agrees, voters in 2024 will have the last word. (Interestingly, that would not affect the 2024 calendar, which is set to kick off Feb. 3 — just 10 months from now.)

The DNC “did not give New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation primary,” said the state’s Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, according to WMUR-TV Channel 9. “It’s not theirs to take away. We will be holding our primary first.”

“And for the DNC to throw that (first primary) out the window for the benefit of President Biden because he doesn’t want to campaign here is appalling,” Bradley said.

C’mon, Ray. You’re being too hard on the president! No one wants to campaign in your state, and Biden just jumped at a chance to trade shaking hands at a town dump for a chance to chow down on delicious barbecue.

And New Hampshire state Sen. Daryl Abbas of Salem added: “We’ve done it the right way and led by example on how our elections are performed, and we should continue to do that.”

Well, sort of: Because in the past 20 years, New Hampshire voters have picked the eventual Democratic nominee only once, backing John Kerry in 2004. Nevada hasn’t done that much better, picking the eventual party nominee twice. (New Hampshire is better with Republicans; its GOP primary picked the GOP’s standard-bearer every presidential year in that time frame.)

Of course, no state can bind another by law or even a constitution, let alone a private organization such as the DNC, which is entitled to reject New Hampshire delegates at the party’s 2024 convention for jumping the calendar.

Otherwise, Nevada could easily start the process of amending its own constitution, to say that we get the first primary in the nation, and if any other state tries to move ahead, then that state automatically has to accept the nation’s nuclear waste!

Don’t make us do it, New Hampshire! Because if you think our Legislature can’t make time for a meaningless constitutional amendment, you’ve never met the Battle Born state!

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com or 702-612-4884. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST