Campaigning too early causes election problems later

Marla Schevker

The 2008 presidential election promises to be monumental. Both Republicans and Democrats have unusual candidates running in the primaries that will make presidential history, regardless of what party wins. Whether it will be the Democrats’ Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, or the Republicans’ Mitt Romney or Rudi Giuliani who take the presidency, something new will be brought to the nation that has never been seen before.

While everyone is excited for the 2008 presidential election, I have some news to share that may be disappointing. The 2008 presidential election is still more than a year and two months away. That is over 400 days that are still available for the candidates to slander each other into oblivion and over 400 days that are still available for the candidates to screw up. That’s over 400 days of money being spent on campaigning and over 400 days of senators and governors not doing their jobs while trying to become well-liked enough to be voted president. That’s 400 days for the voters to become completely disinterested in the election, even more so than they may already be.

By the time November 2008 comes around, it seems unlikely that any of the candidates will have a sliver of reputation left to be voted into office with. Campaigning today is more about disparaging the rest of the candidates’ reputations in order to make themselves seem more interesting, then it is about explaining an individual’s qualifications. By beginning campaigning so early, there is the almost inevitable situation that none of the candidates will seem appealing to the voters by the end. By beginning campaigning so early in the process, it gives ample time for each candidate to dig up all of the dirty secrets on the rest of the candidates.

Campaigning takes money; to fly the candidates out to meet the constituents, to pay for assistants to aid the campaign, to pay for food, airplanes, commercials and anything else that advertises the candidates and helps ease their journey to the election, it all costs a lot of money. According to the MSNBC article, “Election Cost: $4 Billion and Climbing,” the election thus far has cost upwards of $4 billion. In comparison to real world finances, the money that has the power to easily buy out Donald Trump or finance 30,000 students with full rides to Yale. Regardless of what the money could have been spent on, it is a waste to spend it on something that is so far away.

While thinking about the election and early campaigning, there is something that has left me wondering. While the senators and governors are campaigning for the presidency, who is doing their job? Having one government job seems to be a lot of work, balancing that with campaigning and trying to win over the country seems nearly impossible. It would seem to be more sensible for those candidates, who are also currently in government jobs, to do a good job at their current position. That would ensure the voters a solid confidence in the candidates who are able to successfully do their job, instead of voting for a candidate because the rest of the options make the voter feel uneasy.

But all of these variables are assuming that by next year, Americans will still care about the presidential election. More and more money is being spent on campaigning while less and less Americans are actually going out and voting. It is for that reason alone that spending so much money on campaigning is a waste: not enough people care right now for it to even matter in a year.

While it’s good that the candidates are so excited about outdoing each other to impress the nation, realistically their efforts might all be in vain. Their actions could be much better appreciated when the election time is closer, rather than wasting the time, money and effort that is needlessly exerted now.

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