For obvious reasons, most news coverage of the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primaries focuses on the Republican contest. With rare exceptions, incumbent presidents seeking re-election enjoy a nearly insuperable advantage in their party’s nomination process.
So it’s business as usual in the Granite State, with only one candidate in the Democratic running. Or maybe not quite so usual — because that one candidate isn’t President Barack Obama.
Section 655:51 of the New Hampshire Election Code required candidates for their party’s presidential nomination to submit slates of national convention delegates to the Secretary of State no later than November 18th, 2011. Only two Democrats did so, and one — Aldous C. Tyler — has since dropped out and endorsed the other, author and political historian Darcy Richardson.
At first blush, that means Obama appears to have surrendered New Hampshire’s national convention votes for his re-nomination.
Unlike the incumbent Democrat, fifteen of the thirty candidates running in New Hampshire’s crowded Republican primary on Tuesday, including all of the major GOP candidates, filed full or nearly complete slates of delegates and alternate delegates.
“I’m sure this was merely an oversight by President Obama’s re-election team,” says Richardson. “Like a bloated bureaucracy, in a billion-dollar campaign like President Obama’s — one that’s literally drenched in Wall Street money — it’s easy to imagine that the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing.”
Not that he’s complaining, mind you. Richardson, 56, of Jacksonville, Florida, launched his anti-war, anti-Wall-Street, pro-Occupy campaign last fall after his pleas to more well-known progressives to run — former Labor Secretary Robert Reich topped his list — fell on deaf ears.
“The President has very obviously forgotten what the Democratic Party stands for,” he says. “So I can’t say I’m really surprised that he forgot he needs the help of real flesh-and-blood Democrats to get re-elected as well. I haven’t.”
Richardson is on the Democratic primary ballot in several other states, including Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas and will be launching a petition drive for a spot on the Wisconsin ballot tomorrow. “I’m happy to take all the delegates he wants to leave on the table,” says the long-shot challenger. “We’ll be waiting to have a talk with him when he gets to Charlotte next September.”