… and we’re already drenched in “political” news. Cain gains 2% points over Romney! Can Obama win? I mean, HOLY CRAP. It wasn’t that long ago that the candidates were decided at the conventions (in July or early August) and we had a three-month election period. Now, the candidates are selected by April? Hell’s bells, if the the money spent on campaigning before June were devoted to stabilizing social security or health care or creating jobs… Sheeesh.
Sorry, I’m fed up. No other country in the whirled makes such a circus of elections. And such a huge money waste.
Yup, that’s why I, like pretty much most of the rest of America, tend to ignore 95% of this crap.
Bachmann, Cain, Perry, people like that can run up really good poll numbers based on their standings in ludicrously small polling events like the Iowa thing, a couple of fun (but basically pointless) sound bites and the spectacle of things, but they’re basically being handled with kid gloves at this point and no serious questions are being asked. Or at least, no one is being flash friend by the media for excessive stupidity and lack of substance just yet.
That’s one reason I fully support both parties trying to stop various states from moving their caucuses and primaries any earlier. Fuck, if anything they should be pushed later, closer to the actual election.
Part of the problem, believe it or not, is the rise of primaries and caucuses for selecting candidates. This forces everyone to get out there and advertise early and often to get their name well-known in the public arena.
It used to be that in most states the party elders would gather in smoke-filled rooms to review the potential candidates and select one for their state delegates to support. It wasn’t very democratic, but it did generally select qualified and viable candidates.
The current mess has everybody and their brother throwing their hat into the ring in the early states, whether or not they have qualifications, backing, money, or a chance.
FWIW, the 2012 US election is expected to cost approximately 6 billion which is roughly 4 hours worth of the US economy. I think spending 4 hours to determine the fate of the country over the next 4 years is not an excessive waste of money.
Forget the conventions. I can remember when the primaries were the central point. The election season started with the New Hampshire primary in March of the election year. Then the Iowa caucus in January became a big deal and became the start of the election season. Now we’re seeing debates and straw polls six months before the Iowa Caucus.
People used to complain about the conventions because they supposedly didn’t give the people a chance to have a voice in which candidates were nominated. But now we’ve come out the opposite end. Now our candidates are being chosen before a single primary vote is cast.
The conventions were great political drama in the old days. Now they are coronations.
What wealthy people would allow control of the party to such unruly people? It had to be taken away. It also put billions into the networks. So you will not get any TV time complaining of the present system.
No more surprises. No backroom shuffling.
Back when the convention system decided the nominee, the power was in the hands of party leaders. The primary system was developed so more power was given to voters in deciding the nominees.
But I think the current system has put all the power in the hands of special interests. The nominations are now decided by whoever can spend the most money a year before the convention and out-publicize their competitors. You have to spend millions flying around the country acting like a candidate in order to stay in the running. And the only people who can afford to do that are those who receive massive campaign donations.
FDR. Adlei Stevensen. Dwight Eisenhower. Heck, Nixon, Kennedy and Humphrey. I think smoke filled rooms did a reasonable job. Even after their demise, serious people still ran for office for a while: in the 1980 Republican primary, George Bush Sr, John Anderson, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, Bob Dole and Phil Crane battled for the honor of being nominated by the GOP: all were qualified. Of course Ronald Reagan, former two term Governor of California, was elected.
Compare that to the current Republican clown car. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Bachmann and Santorum are/were all manifestly unserious and unqualified. Their tax plans are ludicrous: they don’t even try to make their numbers add up. Their critiques of Obama pulling out of Iraq are silly: for better or worse he’s following an agreement originally signed by GWBush. Bachmann thinks that Obama should have “Demanded” that the Iraqis pay for their liberation. And Mitt fumes about the final result, never mind that Iraqis see us as occupiers and the US military demands that their soldiers not be subject to Iraqi law. Meanwhile Huntsman, polling at about 2%, is perceived as avant guard because he denies neither climate science nor evolution.
The first election cycle I was old enough to understand when it was talked about on the news was 1996, and I distinctly remember hearing about Bob Dole and Lamar Alexander and Steve Forbes jockeying for position before 1995 was over. I question your definition of “not that long ago”.
Meaning what exactly? It’s not like you can make it illegal for people to say they’re going to run for president, or prohibit talking heads from speculating about it on TV.
They also gave us Spiro Agnew, Sargent Shriver, Barry Goldwater, Thomas Dewey, Warren G. Harding, and Herbert Hoover.
What, never? Well, hardly ever. As it happens, this is one of my favorite Walt Kelly-isms.
And to others: yeah, I guess “not long ago” is in my brain. Following the 1968 convention riots, there was major election reform. So it’s been 40 years, which is almost biblical. I guess that was long ago. Sigh.
I think there’s bound to be some fresh reform in the near future. (Near future being within 40 years or so. ) The trend of starting the presidential election earlier and earlier and the spending of more and more money is unsustainable.
John McCain’s campaign was almost broke before the first GOP primary in '08. Hillary and Obama were more or less neck-and-neck. Dean outspent Kerry in '04. And of course, several candidates (Huntsman, Romney) are wealthy enough to self-finance.
Certainly fundraising is important (Pawlenty dropped out because he couldn’t pay his staff anymore), but I think saying it decides the race is pretty obviously not true.
Please Og, “Bob” and Allah, let it come down to a real-thing convention floor-fight! For once let’s have a major-party national convention that ain’t boring! (And which my hometown of Tampa will be hosting. )
And the reason this should happen is that, if it comes down to Romney vs. Perry or whoever is the Tea Party’s choice, that’s a defining moment in the GOP’s history and in American political history no matter which way it goes, being threshed out right there in public like it should be, everyone involved stating their reasons for the camera and for the record.