I don’t normally do new year’s resolutions. It seems silly to assign January 1 as some arbitrary date by which I will amend my life. That being said, I have hit upon a resolution that is one that I hope (but don’t expect) most other people will adopt: I refuse to blog on or even read about presidential horse race stories until no earlier than Labor Day. We have just concluded a mid-term election, and yet every other item seems to be related to the 2012 race. The presidential election cycle has become preposterously long, to the point now that we begin speculating on the proceeding race before the dust has settled on the most recent one.
I have chosen Labor Day because that gives me about four months to involve myself in the 2012 primary, which is well more than enough time. Normally presidential candidates wouldn’t even announce their candidacy until after this date. Now we’re faced with the prospect of several GOP debates by the end of the summer. This is patently absurd.
Some people will contend that this process is a good way of vetting candidates. This, too, is patently absurd. All this excruciatingly long campaign season does is identify who the best campaigner is. It does nothing to help us identify the best man or woman for the job. It should not take more than a few months to come to a firm conclusion as to which candidate to support.
There are a few caveats. If something monumentally shocking occurs – President Obama announces he’s not running for re-election, for example – then I might be inclined to pass comment. Similarly, if one of the cndidates should make news in a non-presidential campaign context – Governor Daniels signs an abortion ban in Indiana, for example – then that, too, might be worthy of comment. Finally, there is some ambiguity about what constitutes a “horse-race” item. I’ll just say that a blog item about Herman Cain’s speech to the rotary club of Des Moines Iowa is something worthy of being ignored for the time being. I might read op-eds written by potential or announced candidates for no other reason than to get a feel for what they stand for, but otherwise I don’t want to hear about it.
Since it’s almost new year’s, I am going to get a head start. I hope that this is one resolution that sticks.