Primary Envy: Who Needs Super Tuesday?
It's not fair that other states get to vote for president, too!
Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick
No one wants to buy us supper anymore. Mitt Romney's Standing Room Only spaghetti dinners have skipped town and it's been eight years since John Kerry turned nearly every local firehouse into a Chili Fest. Your best bet now if you want some free grub is to volunteer at the "Newt Hampshire" phone banks.
Gingrich has kept his downtown Manchester headquarters open to run his New England campaign and like him or not, he's the only living sign left that the 2012 New Hampshire Primary ever happened.
I am one of the silent masses of political junkies currently suffering from Primary Envy. If you see me wistfully peering into the windows of the Black Brimmer American Bar & Grill, where Jon Huntsman drowned in confetti at his third place victory party, please give me my space.
If you hear me humming "You're The Best Around," the 1984 theme to the original Karate Kid movie, outside the main ballroom of the Radisson, forgive me. It's the song that Newt was playing during his triumphant fourth place victory party. When I grab a Diet Coke at the Homestead, my hometown convenience store, my heart flutters knowing that Rick Santorum touched the very same door handle.
I don't miss their robo-calls, but I do wish all the presidential candidates stayed a few months longer. Checking out their daily campaign calendars was better than looking at the movie listings. Do I want to see Ron Paul at Keene State at 5 p.m. or see the Joey's Diner matinée at noon?
How dare they leave New Hampshire and go visit the voters in other states? How dare CNN and Fox News flash up the silhouettes of Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Ohio instead of the Granite State?
Hey there, Massachusetts. So you think you're so cool because you're part of Super Tuesday with all your Super Tuesday friends? I wish I had some kind of comeback here, but I'm embarrassed to say that I don't. I might be sneaking across the border this month to recapture some of the Primary glow.
I'll miss the New Hampshire debates the most. I know it's an overused political metaphor, but those events turn the St. Anselm College parking lot into the Mos Eisley Cantina, a.k.a. the Star Wars bar, where political nutcakes of every flavor shout at each other and gleefully ham it up for the international media.
My biggest regret: Missing celebrity drag queen Ru Paul spout his utopian vision at the Red Arrow Diner. Not sure if he ever achieved his goal of meeting Ron Paul, whom he jokingly claimed to get mistaken for, but that encounter would be fascinating. Ru would talk about the pros and cons of leopard print vs. zebra print boots while Ron would ruminate on which institution he hated more: The International Monetary Fund vs. the Federal Reserve.
Every four years, New Hampshire gets called a spoiled brat by the other states for insisting that we vote first all the time. Depending on what happens in 2016, dealing with Primary Envy might be far worse.
But for now, I'm hoping that the Star Wars bar comes back to town one last time. Given how close this election is expected to be, it's comforting to know that our piddly four electoral votes actually matter.