Already this year, The Inquirer has printed several articles concerning would-be candidates and the time they are spending in Iowa. The various agents of the news media are foaming at the mouth for the earliest signs of a trend, even when those signs are insignificant by any standards except those extraordinarily sensitive ones that seem to be reserved for presidential politics.
To reduce the national impact of the Iowa caucuses, The Inquirer and other elements of the media might do well to pay the caucuses the same superficial attention they give the catastrophic farm crisis that has befallen Iowans and other Midwesterners, events that each week add thousands of names to the roll of destitute Americans. If this were so, no one outside of Iowa would know when the caucuses take place, let alone what the results are.
We are fortunate here in a region as economically sound as the Delaware Valley to have the luxury of looking around the rest of the country to find fault with "unjustified" attention focused on a "less important" group of people, but it is not fair. The fact is that Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley have a much greater impact on national policy and events than all of Iowa (and New Hampshire as well, for that matter). I don't think most residents of this area really begrudge Iowans their brief moment in the media- created limelight.
I do feel a little sympathy for The Inquirer. After all, it must be frustrating for a newspaper with The Inquirer's circulation to exert less influence on an important national process than a smaller newspaper such as, say, the Des Moines Register (which despite a readership consisting mostly, one is to presume from the headline of the editorial in question, of hogs, has still managed to win more Pulitzer Prizes over the years than The Inquirer).