Gentlemen Farmers Need Not Apply
The chairman of the Federal Election Commission yesterday predicted that 2008 will produce the first $1 billion presidential race and that the $500 million that each party's candidate will need to compete will severely limit the field of contenders.If you want a piece of this action, look for a magic point in late 2007 or early 2008 when the TV stocks are down and buy. They will have a very, very profitable second half in '08.
"The 2008 presidential election will be the longest and most expensive in United States history," FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner told The Washington Times.
On a national level, we have to finally face the fact that we have entered the era when the best fund-raiser faces off against the best fund-raiser on the other side -- not, in most cases, the best candidate. Of course, this isn't alll new. Bush was the best fund-raiser in the years preceding his first run and Kerry raised more than he spent. Bush was the best candidate; Kerry wasn't.
As the bar gets frighteningly high, campaigns will quickly narrow to the candidate who grabs the most money and a bunch of useless Al Sharptons and Dennis Kuciniches that are running for matching funds, not office.
The parties will have to figure out how to quickly show the jokers the door if they want to keep their base interested in the process, and they'll have to figure out to ensure that their cashcow candidates are actually the best they have to offer.
They probably won't be able to do that, so the whole deal will sicken voters. You'll see more and more dollars chasing fewer and fewer votes -- hardly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they signed their names on the Declaration of Independence.
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