Administrator2: Hello and welcome to the Politics Chat!

Administrator2: Welcome chatters, and welcome Andrew and Don!

Don Frederick: hello

Andrew Malcolm: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Top of the Ticket's chat. New Hampshire is over and that state's p[opulation is reduced by half by 6 this morning as the pols move on to the West. Anybody got any questions?

Clare: So what are we to make of New Hampshire? And Iowa! Do these states matter anymore?

Hawaii resident: Thank God for the Good Sense of New Hampshire voters. Obama may be running on a "I'm for change" platform, but here in Hawaii his background is all "the good ole boy Democrat politics" network, just look at his high school and go on from there. I say it is time for women to have a chance running things for a change. From my experience they do a great job.

Andrew Malcolm: Well, I think so, not because they're all that big or important or even representative of the broader US. But because simplky they're first. The first chance for folks to actually start voting and stop reading what we speculate on.

Madison: What do the results of the NH primary mean for Obama and Romney in the upcoming primaries?

Don Frederick: hawaii resident: that's an interesting observation about his roots in Hawaii. It's something that bears looking into, by us and others. The more intense vetting is coming, believe me. BTW, i would love for Hawaii to get into the early primary mix.

Clare: I'm kind of excited about the unsettled quality of the election. I like it that both parties have a bit of a race here this time around.

Andrew Malcolm: Well, for Obama it's something of a wakeup call, the grassfire that everybody thought was starting got stopped for the moment. And the US saw Hillary get a little success after some humility-generating days., Americans voters love that. So they're both in the game and move to Mich. For Romney it makes his home stateof Mich much more impt. He's got to win there or he's got very serious trouble pr wise, not money, but pr wise. He was supposed to win the first two and he's second.

Andrew Malcolm: For Rudy this is all great and maybe we can talk about that some more

Don Frederick: Clare: well, as a political journalist, junkie and sports fan, i'm right with ya on that point. The GOP race is especially fascinating, because it has not been a party used to such turmoil.

Clare: Do you think the new primary schedule is a good or bad thing?

Don Frederick: It's terrible. I was struck over the weekend bhy a comment Diane Sawyer made -- we have, BY FAR, the lengthiest process in the world for selecting a leader. I happened to be on the 6 a.m. flight out of Manchester this morning and it was full of Hillary's brain trust (blogged on). And they were absolutely beat. And this intense period is just starting.

Andrew Malcolm: Clare--There's good and not so good about the crammed schedule. The primaries are a testing operiod for candidates and a learning and evaluating period for voters. NH and Iowa folks see them up close. Other states less so. So I thinku need some time for more people to see more candidates react to the questions and stresses. If it all happens in 6 weeks, that seems like a very long time if you're in a campaign but it's not for public learning.

Madison: While Rudy is on solid ground when speaking about the threat of terrorism, he does seem less informed other issues of international trade and economics. How can he surpass the Republican front runners?

Andrew Malcolm: The other thing Clare is that the pre-primary campaign has gotten too long. Remember Bill Clinton announced his campaign in Oct of 91, 13 months ahead of the 92 election. This year we had announcements 10 months before that. Too long in my mind.

Don Frederick: Clare: Andy talks about 6 weeks, but its now almost been a year since Hillary and Obama announced. In a way, it seems like we now have shadow governments operating -- foreign countries are eying the various contenders, wondering who will be the two nominess, and then who will be president. That can't help but undercut what the existing administration is up to ... which doesn't sem like a good thing to me, regardless of which party is in office. Also, the roles played by New Hamp and Iowa evolved by happenstance ... but know they treat themselves as a sacred part of the process. It seems off kiltre, to me.