Is the Presidential Election Cycle Too Long?


It seemed that the 2008 presidential election cycle went on forever. By the time Barack Obama recorded an historic election night victory we had viewed him on the nightly news, non-stop for years. Although the Clinton/Obama primary battle had been newsworthy it lasted forever.

On the Republican side John McCain and Mitt Romney kept bombarding our senses as well.  What was intolerable was the extended period of time we were forced to listen to these same candidates express the same message.

What caused 2008 to drone on was that none of the candidates were the incumbent president or vice president. This led to an open field on both sides of the political aisle. The last time the stars aligned in this manner was 1952 when Eisenhower defeated Stevenson.

Unless Vice President Joseph Biden becomes a central figure seeking his party’s nomination, the 2016 Election creates a similar free-for-all. This means countless exploratory committees and candidates announcing their intentions. Each will try to announce before the other.  We will all be forced to listen to the constant drivel of candidates and commentators. The media is already speculating who will face off in the next election. Within the past weeks there was talk of a network creating a four hour television film touting the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton. Some have criticized this as an attempt to play favorites and unfairly influence the process.

This is just the beginning. Election Day 2016 is more than three years away. Will any of us be granted a single moment of peace? Or are we all going to find ourselves held hostage by a bunch of pontificating politicos. The political process is akin to being chained to a couch on Super Bowl Sunday and forced to watch a seven hour and twenty-five minute pregame show when all we want to do is watch the game. I for one would like to see the presidential electoral process streamlined.

My newest novel, Sense of Direction (cover shown above) takes place during the presidential primary season. Although the book is a suspenseful thriller, I still had to imagine the monotony of the candidate making the same speech at countless campaign stops. Although many of us are political junkies there needs to be some relief. For two years we will hear incessant chatter about the Iowa Straw Poll. Once the big day arrives we will still be sentenced to another year of the same before the final question is resolved. At least in my novel, things are spiced up with car chases and other mayhem on the way to a presidential debate. Our country’s “Sense of Direction” does not have to be debated for the next three years.  A shorter process will lead to more cogent discourse.

Cash Kushel

P.S. – Do you think the electoral process should be shortened? Are any of you planning a trip to Iowa in 2015 to observe the straw poll? Please comment with any suggestions you have to wrap this thing up quicker.