By John F. Di Leo -
Let’s begin this one with a disclaimer: I detest the current presidential primary process. I consider it an unfair and anachronistic approach that should have long ago been corrected. That being said… it’s the method we have, so for the time being at least, the games begin in Iowa…
Our major-party presidential nominees are selected through a time-honored tradition. Based on the theory that the people best suited to select a president are those who know him best, our system relies on aspiring candidates moving into Iowa and New Hampshire for months at a time, visiting small towns throughout these two small states, and giving the electorate a chance to get to know them.
They make speeches there, and hold rallies, but these aren’t the key components of the IA/NH method. The focus is on casual visits, dropping by every little diner they can find, in every small hamlet they pass through. The candidates sit down at table and talk with the customers, often with no press present. The entire economies of Iowa and New Hampshire are based on this odd cycle of presidential campaign tourism; every four years, in the full year preceding the presidential election, these two states are littered with candidates and their staffs, giving business to the small eateries with this unusual brand of tourism.