Are principal nominations fair? We have seen the angst recently over some principal nominees that received TWE's or wait listed. The academies prefer competitive slates from senators and congressmen and apparently can be put in a bind when politicians designate a sole nominee. Let's look at it through our most populous state. California has 38 million people and like all states, two senators. California has about 500,000 high school graduates every year (Cal. Dept. of Educ publication). Of course they all do not apply to an academy, but of the thousand or more that do, could any one person be readily identified as clearly the most qualified and deserving? Even in a smaller state it seems a bit presumptuous to name one candidate "principal", thereby reducing greatly the chance of all others on the slate to be appointed. On this board we have seen some of the statistics of principally nominated candidates that were equal to, or even inferior to some that did not receive appointments. A particularly charming or skilled confabulator can win over an interviewing panel, but that does not necessarily indicate success at an academy. The academy has been identifying the types of kids that will be successful in their institutions for many years. Perhaps it is best left to them and drop even the possibility of being a principal nominee. Thoughts?