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Presidential candidates turn focus to Louisiana

Our View -   Mar 15, 2012

It seems that Louisiana may have a shot after all in determining who will be Republican nominee for President and thus get a chance to become leader of the world’s greatest democracy. That fact was somewhat confirmed when three of the four main candidates made plans to campaign in the state during the remaining two weeks before the primary election here on March 24.

Sen. Rick Santorum, who, according to polls, is leading in the state, started the blitz by holding his election-night party for the Mississippi and Alabama primary elections Tuesday in Lafayette to set the stage for more blitzing in the state. Following him will be swings by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Rep. Ron Paul reportedly is planning to skip campaigning in Louisiana and will concentrate on gaining support here at state caucuses, which brings up another confusing subject in Presidential politics. But we’ll go into that at a later date. Suffice it to say that we may get a peek at one of three candidates during the next week and hear from supporters of the fourth later.

Louisiana’s two major elected Republican office-holders had not supported any of the remaining candidates as of this writing. Gov. Bobby Jindal originally supported Gov. Rick Perry of Texas when he was a candidate but his dropping out of the field left our leader somewhat speechless. Though some of Sen. David Vitter’s staff members are supporting Santorum, our main GOP spokesman in Washington has been mum on who he favors.

One of the interesting aspects of party primary politics in the United States is how it evolves into a mechanism by which it chooses candidates for the highest office in the land. The processes for the 2012 election started many months ago and will continue for eight more before a winner is named. Fortunately all of the candidates are pretty wealthy and don’t have to earn a living during the time that they are telling voters who and why they should be their choice for President. It’s a busy and tortuous two-year span for anyone trying to become the world’s No. 1 leader.

And if the Republican nominee wins the general election this go around, the party roles will be reversed in four years when numerous Democrats will be out looking for primary votes. This confusing system of Presidential politics sort of developed on us over time. It never could have been planned as a straight-forward way of electing a President by each eligible citizen having a vote. It was invented by states having different ways of nominating candidates.

And that is part of our Democratic way, whether we like it or not.

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