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Ohio's Primary Does Matter

A couple of Sunday's ago, I was channel surfing between the political talk shows and I landed on an interview with Senator Hillary Clinton. Although I listened to her entire interview, the only thing I remember is her comment that we'll know who the nominees for both parties will be after February 5. What about Ohio's primary on March 4?

At first, I got a little offended. By all accounts, Ohio is the presidential equivalent of Cinderella's glass slipper! Without Ohio, the presidential prince can't win, live happily ever after and host the Inaugural Ball.

Then it dawned on me that February 5th is Super Tuesday, or as it's now being called, Super Duper Tuesday, even Tsunami Tuesday, by the pundits. To be fair, Mrs. Clinton is not the only candidate hoping to grab all the marbles on February 5. Twenty-four states will hold primaries or caucases on Super Duper Tuesday, with over 2,000 delegates ripe for the picking by the democratic winner and over 1,000 for the republican winner.

I also remembered that last summer there was talk of moving up the date of Ohio's primary. Democratic State Senator Eric Kearney of Cincinnati introduced a bill to move the primary to January 29. The idea was that Ohio has been on the sidelines for years during the presidential primaries because of our later election date and absence from Super Tuesday. Kearney and the other four bill sponsors, believed Ohioans should have a more prominent role in choosing the presidential nominees. The bill was DOA before the ink dried. It was interesting that leaders from both parties stonewalled the bill by saying the canidates will visit Ohio before our primary and that Ohioans are satisfied with our current system.

I think it's convenient to say that all Ohioans are satisfied with the status quo. Many of our elected officials bank our collective apathy. A recent University of Cinninati poll revealed that only 35 percent of Ohioans had given serious thought about the 2008 presidential election. It's sad to think that we have become so complacent given the important issues facing our state and our nation. But I guess it's hard to focus on politics if you're worried about paying your mortgage, whether to by milk or gas this week, or whether the company you work for is about to lay you off.

Or maybe it's just the fact that this presidential race started so early that it was hard for non-political junkies to even pay attention. Now that the frenzy surrounding the Iowa caucus is over, we Buckeyes might begin to check out what's going on. The outcome of today's New Hampshire primary should be interesting---and most people see this as the official kick off of the 2008 campaign.

And even if Cinderella Ohio is not invited to the ball on February 5, we can still make sure our dress and slippers are ready for our March 4 primary after-party. I challenge each of you to learn more about the canidates and their views so you can make an informed decision. Your knowledge and vote will definitely come in handy at the big dance on November 4th.