Other opinions: Earlier primary puts state in play?

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

By Staff
On Sunday, our state was thrust into the national spotlight as a key player for the 2008 presidential election when Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton visited Selma.
The Legislature's decision to move our primary elections up gives Alabama added exposure in the presidential race. And while some believe this exposure will be limited if Florida and California move up to join us, we believe they are wrong.
South Carolina is the Southern state with the earliest presidential primary. After that comes Florida and Alabama. As Southern states go, Florida is an anomaly. That leaves South Carolina and Alabama.
Since 1976, when Jimmy Carter was elected president, Democrats have struggled in the South. Republican presidential nominees have used the Southern strategy - winning the South as a block - to take the White House five out of the last seven elections.
But today, Democrats see more hope. The war has changed the face of the face of national politics, as have scandals and a growing national debt. The last round of congressional elections was proof of a troubling trend for Republicans and an encouraging sign for Democrats.
Now, Democrats hope to take that momentum to win a rare presidential election - one where the incumbent is term-limited and the vice president is not seeking a promotion. To do that, winning in the South - in a state, say, like Alabama - will be key. Democrats must break up the solid political base the Republicans have built here.
With an early primary in Alabama, our voters will help tell the nation which presidential candidates we like the best. Clinton and Obama understand this dynamic.
The Demopolis Times
Try to help our neighbors recover from deadly storm
Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Coffee County who lost their homes, school, and even eight of their children in Thursday afternoon's tornadoes. It is difficult to imagine the grief and outright despair those families are going through this morning; wishing they could wake up and find the horror was only a nightmare.
Support from communities and governmental agencies from around the country will set their sights on South Alabama, but help also must come from us.
Already, many have reached out to help those in Enterprise who are suffering. Many in our community have already volunteered their time and talents. We encourage others to do what they can. Perhaps you can give a pint of blood to help the Red Cross prepare for the next emergency. You mght make a contribution, say a prayer, write a note, or show up to help someone clean up.
Regardless, our help is needed. No doubt, we will one day call on our neighbors to help us.
It is tragedies like this that remind us life is precious and often fleeting. Today we mourn, but we must also help rebuild.
The Andalusia Star-News

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