Monday, April 23, 2007

Can’t Buy Me Love

Is it just me or is there an obscene amount of money being raised? What does all this money mean to the body politic as a whole and to the aspirations of our potential candidates? Whatever happened to our desire to have publicly financed elections?

It appears that publicly financed elections are good as long as it is not an election I’m in. There was much talk about campaign reform when there was no campaign. Now that the architects and sponsors have joined the fray we have lost our zeal for cleaning up the process until the next “swift boat” incident. Does it really take a half billion dollars to be president of the United States? And if it does; what does that say about our process. It seems like every cycle we set new all-time records for money raised and money spent and after each we say we want reform (everyone but Mitch McConnell, but at least he is honest about his dishonesty), only to start the cycle all over again when the dust settles.

It has been stated that you cannot buy the presidency, but money has never hurt. One of these elections it would be nice to have an election based on ideas and plans, not based on how much money you were able to raise. Already the media has proclaimed the front runners and eventual nominees based on the money earned in the first quarter of an election that is two years away. I wish I could be that sure of what was going to happen to me tonight let alone two years from now. The only problem with prognosticators is that they are rarely if ever right. I remember when Howard Dean raised all the money on the internet and made online fundraising viable; he was pronounced a “force to be reckoned with”. The thing is that money does not always translate into voters or true support. If that were in fact the case then instead of having elections we would just have fund raisers and whoever raised the most money wins.

While money is important and helps to get a candidates message out to a wide range of voters, campaigns are more than money. Campaigns are about people, they are about ideas, and who can communicate those ideas most effectively. Campaigns are about meeting people, they are about endurance and sounding fresh after giving the same speech over and over and over. Campaigns are about relationships, relationships between the candidate and his supporters, the candidate and the undecided, and the candidate and the media. This could actually be good for Senator Edwards; both “front runners” have enough money to bludgeon each other before the primaries even begin. Make no mistake when this process gets started the kid gloves will come off, both of these people are serious campaigners and they want this nomination. It may appear to be civil now, but it is going to get ugly and standing above the fray will be Senator Edwards unsullied by the excesses of both those campaigns.

No comments:

HTML stat tracker