Friday, September 2, 2011

Arizona: Much Ado About ...a Debate?

FHQ finds it hard to fathom that all this ballyhoo since the end of July in Arizona has been about getting the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls into the Grand Canyon state for a debate. But that is what appears to be the alternative to a January 31 presidential primary in Arizona according to former Arizona Republican Party Chair Randy Pullen.
"That's pretty much it," former chairman Randy Pullen said when asked whether topics other than hosting a debate in Arizona were being discussed as alternatives to moving up the primary date.
Of course, Governor Brewer in comments on Thursday stated:
"I would like an early primary if at all possible. I think that kind of highlights Arizona a lot more," she said. "But depending on what we can negotiate as far as what's good for Arizona and what's good for the country as a whole ... I'm open."
The catch here is that Arizona is already scheduled to hold a non-compliant February 28 primary. In other words, the primary is already "early". As we have argued here at FHQ, the January 31 proposition was the opening offer in an ongoing negotiation to reserve Arizona a seat at the table in the 2012 Republican nomination process. But does a debate and a February 28 primary -- Is that early enough? -- achieve that or will Arizona push to schedule a debate or move its primary up to its centennial on February 14? We will likely have an answer to those questions today or tomorrow. Regardless, the debate wrinkle, while not new, is suddenly a lot more serious as far as Brewer's and Arizona Republicans' goals are concerned.

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