The Endless Campaign – WSJ.com
This is an excellent op-ed by Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush.
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.
I would agree with this. States who have traditionally been later in the process have worked to move themselves up to be more relevant. To keep their place at the beginning of the process, Iowa and New Hampshire have moved themselves up earlier in January. There were even rumblings that Iowa or New Hampshire would hold their election between Christmas and New Years. That would have been ridiculous.
What Rove is advocating is that we have a longer primary process, spread out over a couple months and not a couple days. There is a chance that we will know who will win the election by late February or early March (or we may not know at all going into the conventions) and we will have a long, stale summer leading up to the conventions at the end of August and early September.
Rove sums it up best at the end of his op-ed, “Longer, earlier and shorter — at least when it comes to selecting our presidential candidates — is not in the country’s best interests. The presidential primary mayhem and next year’s seemingly endless general election campaign will be compelling evidence for reform.”