Are you getting as sick of the posturing of the states in regards to the Presidential primary/caucus schedule? I know I am.
Now South Carolina has decided to move its primary to January 19, 2008 in order to hold theirs before Florida's. That will force both Iowa and New Hampshire to move their respective caucuses and primary even earlier, possibly into December 2007. That's friggin' ridiculous.
The primaries/caucuses are now so front loaded that most of them will be done by April. If the voters think the campaign season is already too long, just how bored or pissed off will they be by November 2008?
The present schedule will make it impossible for old fashioned retail politicking and campaigning to take place. With the compressed schedule as well as the so-called “Super Tuesday”, with 24 states holding their primaries on February 5th, there will be little time for any candidate to press the flesh and meet potential voters face to face. Those candidates with little money will be at a huge disadvantage because they won't be able to buy the 30-second sound bite ads on radio or TV or take out full page ads in the local newspapers. It's likely that the party nominees will not necessarily be the best candidate, but rather the best funded candidate.
The damn system is broken and its time for both the Democrats and Republicans to say “Enough!”
Front loading the schedule hurts the process. In 2004 the Dems paid a heavy price for the front loaded schedule. Let's face it, John Kerry was an unmitigated disaster as a candidate. But the schedule basically forced the Dems to nominate him when there were a couple of other candidates that were far better suited to become President. It's quite possible that both the Democrats and Republicans will “feel the pain” of this campaign's schedule. The best candidates may never make it past the first few contests.
The two parties must come together and work out a plan that will prevent the schedule crunch from ever happening again. Whether it's having the states draw dates from a bowl to set the date of their primaries or setting up some kind of rotating schedule that keeps the primaries spread out over 5 or 6 months, something must be done. Otherwise the American voters will be so sick and tired of the perpetual campaigning that they'll stay home in droves out of sheer boredom. If that happens then we'll really be in trouble.