About five minutes after the concession and acceptance speeches on Election Night 2012, the political pundits began speculating on the 2016 race.
To those people I say, "Are you kidding? That's four freaking years away!"
I mean, come on. We've just begun answering our phones again, on the thought that maybe - just maybe - something other than a recorded message from a politician or their supporters would be on the other end of the line.
Iowa was one of the states designated as a "battleground" state in the 2012 election, and I think many of us feel like we have indeed been in a battle. If you watched any of the "local" channels on TV over the last few months, it was virtually impossible to avoid the political ads of Obama, Romney, King and Vilsack, not to mention candidates in neighboring states, particularly the Bob Kerry - Deb Fischer Senate race in Nebraska.
Millions of dollars were spent on these ads, and to what avail, I ask you? The bottom line is, staunch Republicans voted for Republican candidates, staunch Democrats voted for Democrat candidates, and many of the rest of us "undecided" voters were still undecided as we walked into the polling place because it seemed like the majority of the ads were negative ads, in the sense that candidates focused on why we shouldn't vote for their opponent rather than on simple, honest statements about exactly where they stand on issues and what they aim to do.
In the meantime, many of us wound up voting for the candidates we considered to be "the lesser of two evils." I was actually considering casting a write-in vote for Tom Brokaw for two reasons : 1. because he seems like a genuine person with a good solid Midwestern background and reasonable opinions who hasn't forgotten his upbringing and has often returned to the area; and 2. He feels that the election process goes on "entirely too long." Amen, Brother Brokaw - whatever your poliiical affiliation might be (and I haven't a clue what that is).
I herein repectfully suggest that, between now and January 1, 2016: No one announce their intentions about running for office; No member of the media ask any politician whether or not they plan to run; and No media even speculate about potential candidates, be it in print, over the air, or online. Personally, I'd also like to see less emphasis on primary elections and more on the conventions, which used to be newsworthy.
As it is now, especially in the so-called "battleground states," voters are so inundated with political stuff - much of it contradictory and negative - the LAST thing they want to read or hear about in 2013 is 2016.