Third Party & Independents Archives

Yay for Gingrich!(?)

Um… did I just say that? I think I did. And while we’re throwing kudos to Mr. Gingrich, let’s also throw some out to the state of Kentucky. This may seem an unlikely pairing, but they are both doing what they can to ensure our electoral system maintains some semblance of reasonality (I went to the G.W. Bush school of English).

Newt Gingrich has been in the news a fair bit lately. He is writing books, doing speaking engagements, and everything else a potential presidential candidate would do in the years leading up to an election... which is exactly where we are... the years (emphasis on the plural) leading up to an election. Mr. Gingrich has been repeatedly asked if he has any presidential aspirations, and his response has been a breath of fresh air. Hi insists that, if he indeed decides to run, he will make no decision until the fall. In an article I read a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Gingrich said (and I am paraphrasing) that one year of campaigning is all the American people should be subjected to. Here here!

Kentucky has decided not to push up its presidential primary from its long standing date of May 20. Of course, this is in direct opposition to what it seems like every other state in the country is doing, which is pushing up their primaries in an effort to make their particular primary more meaningful. The problem is, when everyone's primary is meaningful, no one's is. The governor of Kentucky has even taken a unique approach to the whole thing, saying "It would be ironic if a state like Kentucky that hasn't moved up becomes a player by doing nothing." He said this meaning that, if one of the nominations has not yet been decided, Kentucky could actually play a more important role than all of the states rushing to the front of the line. He also conceded this is a long shot.

Our presidential election cycle has grown to be far too long. It was April of 2007 and both of the major parties were already holding presidential debates. Meanwhile this is fun to watch, they are, as Gingrich points out, ultimately inconsequential. Why are we holding debates so early in 2007, for an election that happens in late 2008, for a president that will not be inaugurated until 2009? I'm with Newt... this is way too early.

By waiting until Spetember to announce a candidacy, Gingrich may well lose out on a lot of potential endorsements and contributions, there is no doubt about that. It is unfathomable to me that it could already be too late to enter the race... then again, maybe Newt could garner the endorsement of the governor of Kentucky?

Posted by Doug Langworthy at June 1, 2007 10:31 PM
Comments
Comment #221972

Of course, it’s always possible that the country will be sick to death of all the candidates by then, and would welcome, with open arms, damn near anyone.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at June 2, 2007 2:29 AM
Comment #221973

Doug, I agree. By the end of the year people will be sick and tired of all the current Presidential hopefuls. It makes one wonder if guys like Gingrich and Gore see the same thing and are timing their announcements for maximum freshness…

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 2:29 AM
Comment #221979

Doug, I have to disagree with your central premise, and here are the two reasons why.

First, trust is a HUGE factor for voters in casting a vote for president. Trust is not acquired quickly by persons running for president who have not been national celebrities prior to the their run.

Second, as evidence of this first point above, I watched a C-Span program yesterday of a Focus group of Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters regarding the candidates for 2008’s Presidential race. That Focus group demonstrated by their responses that most of the candidates were unknown to them sufficiently to make anykind of assessment of them. They also established that for candidates whose names they were very familiar with like Barack Obama, 10 of the 12 said they did not know enough about him to feel comfortable in deciding one way or another about voting for him.

In fact, there were only 3 candidates the majority of the group felt they knew well enough to decide one way or another on, Clinton, Guliani, and McCain. These candidates they felt they knew enough about to decide whether they were trustworthy of not. The rest of the field, more than 10 other candidates, they did not know enough about to make a decision about trust.

So, the voters, for whatever reasons, are slow to gather news and information about candidates, which would argue for a longer campaign season. Also, the trust factor, which they said was central to their decision to vote for a candidate, as we all know, takes time to develop.

The only objection I have to a prolonged campaign season, is the amount of time this affords wealthy special interests to wield their wealth in the form of bribes and blackmail upon the candidates, as the race for money gathering to buy media exposure and fund opponent-offensive campaigns has reached unprecedented levels. But, here, it is the money in the political system, not the length of the campaign season, that I object to.

Therefore, I would posit that there is nothing inherently wrong with a longer campaign season. The real and underlying issue is the corrupting influence of money upon the campaigners and candidates during that season. We need campaign finance reforms that remove the bribery and blackmail effects. We don’t want to shorten the campaign season which actually enhances voter familiarity and awareness of the candidates providing a better informed consent on election day.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 2, 2007 10:12 AM
Comment #221992

AP & Sandra…Yep… wouldn’t it be something if we ended up with Gore v Gingrich in the general election? Interesting…

David… I disagree. Granted, with a (superfluous) long compaign, voters are indeed able to get to know candidates better… and this could work against them. As we have discovered, the smallest discretion can derail a campign rather quickly… All Howard Dean had to do in 2004 was give an excited “yyeeeaaaahhhh!” before he faded into oblivion. It is far easier to ruin a campaign than it is to run a successful one, and given the length of the current season, I see that happening with some of our current candidates.

Also, in 1992, a fairly little known governor from the state of Arkansas did just fine in a shorter campaign season… going against a sitting president, no less.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at June 2, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #221998

http://www.vote-smart.org/election_president_state_primary_dates.php

With most of the states having moved their primary dates up to the first 2 months of the year. These “new to announce” candidates will be coming in fresh and will have had a chance to weed out a lot of ideas rejected by the masses. We also may be getting more of a lock on VP teamings ???

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at June 2, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #222007

Well, Doug, I don’t think you are taking into account the new political dynamics. Earlier primaries work to allow the public in their parties a better opportunity to get to know the lesser knowns, increasing their chance of throwing out an incumbent for a fresh face. Primaries are the primary place for Democrats and Republicans to vote out their own incumbents for new faces from their own party.

And the polls show, that this desire to remove incumbents is growing and party loyalty is diminishing. Longer primaries enhance the vote out incumbent movement by affording voters more opportunity to develop a trust factor for a challenger.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 2, 2007 2:45 PM
Comment #222014

Gingrich is unelectable. The Democrats better hope that he does get the Republican nomination. With the clowns they have running he’s most likely the only one they any of them have of winning against. Not that any of the Republicans have anyone that’s overly brilliant themselves, but right now just about any monkey can beat any of the Democrats.
Except Gingrich. And the sad thing is as sorry as he is he’s the only one the Republicans have that’s even half way close to being qualified for President.

David,
Your right. The primaries are where the parties can throw out their own incumbents. But lately there’s been a few states that have gone to ‘open’ primaries where anyone can vote regardless of party affiliation. And other states are considering it.
I’m against them because this give the opposing parties the chance to nominate the candidate they think their own candidates can beat.
IF you think the choices stink now, just wait until the opposing parties can chose the other parties’ candidates.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #222018
It is far easier to ruin a campaign than it is to run a successful one…

Anybody want to start a pool? I got dibs on Giuliani.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #222023

AP… good one… I think it will be Hillary to ruin her chances first as she is getting the most coverage… more exposure, more chance.

Dark horse… and I know AP will disagree… Richardson is the only true breath of fresh air of any of the declared candidates… potentially a good choice for a running mate? Could anyone imagine an African-American and Hispanic ticket?

Only in America…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at June 2, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #222024

Ron… you are so right… I used to live in a state (WA) with the open primary… and it is terrible!

It serves to make the nomination of a party’s candidate a government function and only works to further strengthen the stranglehold of the two-party system… that on top of the fact that is already unfair to all political parties (republicrats included) as parties, in my ever-so-humble opinion, have every right to nominate whomever they want… the government has no right to interfere with this process.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at June 2, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #222034

AP:
“It makes one wonder if guys like Gingrich and Gore see the same thing and are timing their announcements for maximum freshness…”

Gore — maximum freshness indeed, yet well-aged, and ripe for a comeback. Gingrich is a stale choice no matter when he decides to jump into the race. It’s the radical religious factor that brings him past the nations due date.

Ron, very good point about open primaries — a perfect way to put up the very worst candidates from either side of the aisle.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2007 8:29 PM
Comment #222043
Could anyone imagine an African-American and Hispanic ticket?

Not any more than anyone can imagine a white woman and a black man ticket. Unfortunately.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 11:19 PM
Comment #222047

Ron Paul is the only breath of fresh air, I’ve seen.

Ron Brown, you should consider him, after all he has your first name!!!

Seriously, I know he may be a long shot, especially as a Republican, but he’s the only one speaking honestly, in my opinion.

Posted by: barneygoogle at June 2, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #222106

barney, if I could vote in the Republican primary, I’d vote for Ron Paul. He’s the last of the true conservatives.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 3, 2007 2:10 PM
Comment #222110

barneygoogle
I’ve been hearing the name Ron Paul, but don’t really know anything about him. Reckon I should do a little research on him. But then I’m not registered Republican so I couldn’t vote for him in the primaries anyway.
But even if I could, I wouldn’t vote for someone just because we have the same name.
There’s some ex Senator turned actor that’s supposedly thinking about running on the republican ticket. Don’t remember his name off hand but he played on Law and Order for awhile.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 3, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #222126

Ron Paul comes from the Libertarian and Barry Goldwater wing of the Republican Party. He believes government should be minimal, stay out of our personal lives (with exceptions), return to a commodity based economy and end the funny money whose value is determined in large part by consensus, rather than real assets, and he believes in a return to the Constitution as the measure of law and governance.

Ron, I think you would appreciate his candidacy. I don’t agree with him on many issues, but, I can’t help but respect his respect for the wisdom of our Constitution and Founding Fathers. There is no question we need more voices like his in our government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2007 3:31 PM
Comment #222165

Just checked out Ron Paul’s website. There’s a lot of things there that I agree with. But like all the rest of the politicians he aint saying how he’s going to try to implement the things he’s talking about.
I’d like to see just one politician come out and tell us how they are going to go about doing everything they say want to. Even if I disagree with him/her, I’d have a lot more respect for them than I have the the whole damn bunch right now.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 3, 2007 8:08 PM
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