Hillary’s coming to town, and that’s a good thing | NevadaAppeal.com

Hillary’s coming to town, and that’s a good thing

You might not find unanimous agreement that it’s a good thing Hillary Clinton is coming to town.

But make no mistake, her presence and that of other candidates, including Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark and Chris Dodd, is a good thing, even for those whose cars sport bumper stickers saying “Anybody but Hillary.”

Carson City doesn’t find many opportunities to make it to the national stage. Being host to the first forum for the major Democratic presidential candidates is a great opportunity to not only showcase the city, but to broadcast to the nation, through the inevitable media hordes, what’s on the minds of Nevada voters.

Those issues reach beyond the national fixation on immigration and the war in Iraq to common-sense management of our public lands, putting a stop to unfunded federal mandates, and, of course, Yucca Mountain.

The voices early in an election season can help set the tone and the agenda for the run-up to November 2008. They can shoot holes in frontrunners, and help turn darkhorses into favorites. Just ask residents of New Hampshire and Iowa.

It’s about time Western voices had a say.

Kudos to the Democratic Party for giving Nevada that distinction through the Jan. 19, 2008, caucus, as well as to the local Democrats who are working out the details of the Feb. 21 forum.

Now it would be nice if the Republicans, too, gave the West its say early in the process.