Saturday, September 12, 2015


The most challenging matter for interested observers of the
presidential campaign now underway is also the most
frustrating. That “matter” is the necessity for patience.

An elaborate media spectacle, not unlike like plot twists of
a TV soap opera, is taking place. The parade of candidates
in both parties are auditioning, if you will, for parts in the final
show of the soap opera.

Then comes the real drama --- the actual voting in the
caucuses and primaries. Even before that, candidates will
withdraw from the race --- former Governor Perry has already
done so. Others in both parties will follow soon enough.

It might be asked “What about Donald Trump and Bernie
Sanders?” That’s a reasonable question. The answer might
be found in the fact that in October, 2011 (also about a year
from the general election) the leader in the public opinion polls
at 30% was Herman Cain, a millionaire businessman who had
not ever been elected to any office. Where is “former” President
Cain now, I ask.

The 2016 cycle is now appearing to be a very distinctive one.
Historians and political commentators are straining to find
parallels with previous cycles, and there are no doubt some, but
some cycles defy comparisons.

Rarely, if ever, has one party’s field had so many seemingly
qualified announced candidates. Rarely, if ever, has the other
party had an “inevitable” frontrunner who is fading so fast and
so unpopular. This is a cycle which almost demands sudden
turns and surprises. In such an environment, neat analysis and
prescient prediction is neither likely nor very useful.

It is early enough for a new candidate, or candidates, to enter the
Democratic field. It is also early enough for the TV debates to
produce new frontrunners for the Republican nomination. It is
early enough for almost any major surprise.

The result of the “new” media, and their instant-time quality, has
produced a premature psychological thirst for early resolution of
this presidential cycle. Such early resolution is simply not going to

Instead, we are going to have quite a spectacle to observe and
enjoy. Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders, et al, are only the beginning.

Wait. it’s going to be quite a show.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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