Every four years the campaigns start earlier, run longer, and the primary/caucus schedule becomes more compressed. The madness has got to stop. Even Karl Rove agrees with me.
The Iowa caucuses are 14 days away, with the New Hampshire primary five days later. And what follows from there won't be pretty. The way Americans are selecting our presidential candidates in 2008 is, frankly, a mess.
The first problem is the overall length of the campaign. There are few more demanding physical activities than running for president, other than military training or athletics at a very high level--and this will be the longest presidential contest on record. The first candidate this season announced Dec. 12, 2006; virtually all the Democrats declared by late January, and almost every Republican by mid-March. So next fall we'll elect a president who's spent two years rocketing around the country in an aluminum tube and sleeping in strange hotel rooms on a brutal, exhausting campaign trail.
This gives America the longest leadership selection contest in the democratic world.
The joke making the rounds lately is a number of presidential hopefuls have been trying to make sure they won't miss any of the upcoming debates...for the 2012 elections.
By the time November 2008 rolls around most people will be bored to death with the lengthy campaigns. Most won't really care who's running. They'll just want it all to be over. So will I.