POLITICS: Are Primaries Necessary?

TO the candidates, the primaries must I loom like some monstrous political version of the Great Wall of China: an awesome structure, stretching on and on, that has never decided a battle. As they campaigned in Wisconsin, the Democratic candidates were already showing serious signs of wear and tear. Yet this was only the fourth primary; there are a staggering 19 still to go.

The system was not designed to exhaust the candidates or bankrupt the party or elect Richard Nixon. But it seems to be doing all three. Around the White House,...

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