Saturday, January 5, 2008

GOP caucus in Wyoming gets national press

Carol over at Missoulopolis linked to a Wyoming Tribune-Eagle article that painted a dim picture of the Wyoming decision to go early with their caucus, thereby losing half of their delegates as a penalty.

In particular, the editors poked fun at Wyoming's supposed "inferiority complex" because the party wanted to get the thing over in time to make the New York Times deadline.

Let's just say that the GOP party leaders in Wyoming seem to be brighter than the editors at the Tribune-Eagle. Check this out.

The editors also mocked the GOP, saying that it didn't draw enough attention from presidential candidates to make it worth it.

According to the NYT article, Wyoming was indeed shortchanged: only 4 personal visits from Mitt Romney, with additional visits from Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Sam Brownback.

Wow. Poor Wyoming.

By contrast, Montana, which played by the rules and didn't move up prior to February 5th (and which has twice the number of delegates that Wyoming does, after taking the penalty into account) hasn't had a single presidential candidate visit the state since our February 5th caucus was announced. Mitt Romney did address the Montana GOP state convention last summer, but the caucus was still in the planning phase at that point.

With half of the nation's delegates at stake on February 5th and little things like New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan, and Florida also coming over the next month -- well, don't expect any presidential candidate who is truly in contention to visit Montana before our caucus. (Although there are rumors.)

This is not to say that our early caucus has not been a success. Quite the contrary -- precinct positions are being rapidly filled all across the state, building up the grassroots organization of the state Republican Party and bringing new people and fresh blood into the party organization.

This was always one of the main goals of the early caucus in Montana, since presidential politics generates emotion and buzz, even if the candidates themselves don't come to the state.

According to the NYT article, Wyoming has likewise had a grassroots boost from their early caucus.

The Tribune-Eagle editors can be as condescending as they like. Somehow we doubt that the Wyoming GOP leaders sat around a conference table wondering how they could best do things to please newspaper editorial boards in Cheyenne.

They were probably thinking about the Republican Party's best interests in Wyoming. Which is what they are supposed to do.

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