[Originally published at The Political Dogfight as part one of four this is a slightly edited version.]
I seriously question the value of the new Primary System developed by the DNC then jumped on by other opportunistic states. February 5, 2008 looms large as a result of these changes.
David Brooks recently had a column about the advice he had for Republican candidates. It was his contention that all the primaries on Feb. 5, 2008 wouldn’t be the decisive ones. He still thought the traditional first three primaries would set the media tone. And he thought the Media tone would set the race on the first Tuesday of Feb.
While I don’t agree that the first three primaries will decide the race, and I don’t agree with Brooks in general, I think he is absolutely right about a slightly different topic: Media Tone
Think of the situation today as seen in the daily papers and on the news programs! According to them there are only 3 real candidates in the race: Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and John Edwards…and John Edwards is coming in a weak third in terms of media coverage. (Or his was until the unfortunate announcement of his wife’s recurring health issues.]
This issue of Media Tone/Media Noise is the real problem.
A few candidates are sucking the Media Oxygen out of the atmosphere and leaving other truly qualified candidates without the ‘free’ media (news) that they need to become more widely known. If this is happening to John Edwards think of the others.
Think of Joe Biden or Chris Dodd. Whether they are your favorites or not, they deserve to be heard and considered. Each of them has substantive experience and each is just as substantive as Hillary Clinton, Obama and John Edwards.
(More on this topic another time: Rhetoric vs Substance and Goverance in the Election of 2008. )
Will candidates that aren’t getting the ‘free’ media of the Clinton’s etc., have even a fighting chance in 2008? Will they be able to raise the $25-$40Million they need by the fall? If they can’t will this silence voices that should be heard?
I think that forshortening the race does the country and the party a diservice. Now we have an Invisible Primary already in progress with people being labeled winners and losers….and it’s all in the media’s programming…..it’s pure Media Noise.
Since it has no actual voting today, this Primary, since it’s all in the Media and nowhere else, I call ‘The Invisible Primary’. And that Invisible Primary is in full swing.
I despair that we will again nominate people who seem great in short primary seasons,(Gore who was annointed and Kerry who came from nowhere in the most unusual Primary in memory), and then we saw they didn’t have an Authentic voice on the campaign trail! They didn’t know how to remove the Political Mask.
I believe that the American people hunger for an Authentic Voice, not the politicians mask that so many wear and use to speak. My desired outcome would be to have a nominee with an Authentic voice that is backed by large scale experience and augmented by roadmaps to tangible goals with benchmarks built in to those roadmaps.
Rhetoric, however seductive, will not win. Fundraising shouldn’t be a qualifier either for the nominee.
This is Part 1 of more to come on ‘The Invisible Primary’. Stay tuned for more parts and metrics on the numerics of February 5, 2008.