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NH Takes National Stage

Friday, January 6, 2012
Candidate Mitt Romney (left) talks with Jeff Burton before the 2011 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at NHMS. Photo: NHMS/HHP

Romney? Huntsman? Newt? Ron Paul? Santorum? Good with Obama?

Don't answer those questions. The beauty of the sports world is that I can generally stay removed from the political debates that no one ever wins.  In politics, the "winner" is usually the person that simply continues talking for longer than everyone else in the room.  It's kind of like if NASCAR just had an endurance race and the last car running won.

I don't care who you vote for.  But, I do care that you vote.

It's always amazing to me how many chest-thumping, freedom-isn't-free Americans never cast a vote.  Drag the flag through the mud and burn it, go bald-eagle hunting, there's nothing more unpatriotic than not voting.  (I mean, don't actually consider doing those first two things, they're very disrespectful.  The point is that while those actions would be intentional, many simply don't realize how disrespectful it is not to cast a vote.)

Far too many Americans take the simple right to elect their officials for granted.  Our fore fathers, veterans and active military haven't risked, and in many cases sacrificed, their lives so that we can sit around on voting day in our La-Z-Boys, order delivery pizza and watch our big screen TVs as the results, with which we had nothing to do, roll in.  They fight for a lot more than just our way of life, they fight for the building blocks that help us live the lives we choose.  A big part of that is a society that is allowed to pick its decision-making officials and not controlled by an oppressive monarchy.

This coming Tuesday, New Hampshire will take center stage for something other than auto racing.  According to a recent report from CBS, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway helps put an estimated $400 million into the state's economy each year.  Aside from our two races, the primary is the biggest economy boost to the state at an estimated $300 million.

For much of the NASCAR season, we're just that track way out up north close to Canada, but twice a year, we light up the national spotlight.  We take a lot of pride in the attention we bring to our small Granite State and the primary accomplishes this same goal.

While the Iowa caucus runs before the New Hampshire primary on the election schedule, the trip to New England is usually the tone setter for a candidate's campaign trail.  Do well in New Hampshire and you might be the future President of the United States; do poorly and it's time to start the countdown clock to withdrawl.

Just like our Sprint Cup races, it's very exciting to see New Hampshire become such an important part of the country's attention.  Candidates will only be back here sparingly in the time leading up to the November's Presidential election, as our three electoral college votes pale in comparison to larger swing states (although it is worth noting that Al Gore would have beat George W. Bush in 2000, if Gore had carried the Granite State).  However, right now, we're all the attention across the political nation.

For those of you that reside in the 603 area code, make sure you show appreciation our country's freedom and head to the polls to cast a vote on Tuesday (for whatever candidate you see fit). For those of you that don't, well then, look for us on TV, and we'll be sure to look for you in the stands when the national media returns to our state on July 15 for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.