Already today, we've had wild n' crazy news from several presidential candidates: Rudy Giuliani admitted to a hospital with flu-like symptoms. The New York Times reportedly debating whether to print a hit piece on John McCain. Hillary Clinton's brother, Tony, is a deadbeat dad who owes his ex-wife $75,000 in child support. Barack Obama is already floating names for his Cabinet.
And the voting hasn't even begun yet.
Twenty-four hour media and backing up the primaries to New Year's Day have turned presidential politics into the Wild West.
I wonder what is sinking in with voters and what sounds merely like annoying background noise. How much are we absorbing? Everybody's political baggage is hitting everybody's else's baggage. The candidates are flailing. The press is spinning out of control. We've hit a saturation point---and we're still two weeks away from the first caucus.
The Europeans are generally unreliable allies but they are good for a few things: food, wine, ancient sites. They also do their political campaigns right: three to five months, and voila! New president or prime minister. That way is easier on the candidates, easier on the system, easier on democracy---and easier on the voters. Viva la shorter campaign!