Commentary

A 22-Month Campaign: Too Much of a Good Thing

I am a political-science minor and a self-professed CNN junkie, so election time can be as exciting for me as SuperBowl XLI will be for the Colts fans here at Ball State.

But even I cannot wrap my head around all of the media hype involving the 2008 election. Every time I turn on the TV there is nuanced information about Obama’s exploratory committee or John Edwards’ trip to Iowa or McCain’s return trip to the primaries. I love this kind of stuff - I would also love it closer to 2008.

Don’t get me wrong, I need the instantaneous satisfaction offered by on-demand news and multimedia coverage. I like having updated news in my papers, on my phone, in my e-mail; moreover, I am accustomed to having this information in my hands in seconds. We are so used to receiving information when we want it that our distant futures seem imminent. Regardless of political affiliation, I think we are all interested to see what a future president will do change our economy, community welfare and international position. But we are so accustomed to consuming the news every ten seconds that we don’t actually listen to the current news.

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This is the chief problem with having the 2008 elections run for 22 months. Besides making “This American Morning” irritatingly repetitive, other important news is overshadowed. I don’t remember hearing about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Iraq on the news. I don’t remember hearing about the case of bird flu in Nigeria. I do, however, know everything I ever need to know about Clinton’s current fundraising strategies. Presidential elections might be one of the most exciting times of the year, but too much of a good thing is just annoying and it could hurt the candidates when interest turns to apathy around month 15.

1 comment about "A 22-Month Campaign: Too Much of a Good Thing".
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  1. David Francois, February 5, 2007 at 10:25 a.m.

    That's all well and good, but not much is going to stop the "permanent campaign" except for mandatory public funding of elections. And while that's a great idea, I expect that the powers that be in the corporate and lobbying worlds have a big stake in keeping their money, and by extension their power, in the system.

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