Electric fence keeps presidential candidates in line

At least that’s the effect of their pledges not to campaign in any state that dares to defy Iowa and New Hampshire by holding their primary too early. The St. Petersburg Times‘s Adam C. Smith has an amusing story about how quickly the candidates flee when he reveals where he’s from:

"She’s only doing local press," Mo Elleithee, a Clinton adviser, explained by phone. "And I’m local press from Florida," I said. "But now I’m in New Hampshire, so I’m legal to talk to." "But you’re still from Florida," Elleithee sighed. "A tiger can’t change its stripes." …

"I’m not allowed to talk to the press!" Illinois Sen. Obama shouted back at me recently after I tried shouting from 100 feet away as he left a $1,000-per-person fundraiser in St. Petersburg.

"Isn’t it up to you?!"

Obama: "Nope!"

Maybe the world is flat, but state lines remain impenetrable barriers in American presidential elections.