Primary Voters Can Wait 

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has said that the reason why more GOP presidential candidates haven't announced yet is that the voters want a shorter primary season. I'd have to agree with him. If there's one thing we learned during the last presidential cycle, it's that 2007 was virtually meaningless. The media reported endlessly on debates and daily controversies that much of the public didn't care about. Meanwhile, candidates wasted a lot of money.

For much of 2007, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were frontrunners, Clinton a prohibitive one. John McCain was dead in the water and Barack Obama was a flash in the pan. Things didn't really start to get interesting until the fall of 2007.

That said, I think the longer primary season did help Obama. At the start of 2007, Obama was pretty rough and awkward as a candidate. Those going to his events hoping to see the rock star who delivered the famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention were greeted with rambling and boring stump speeches. But he made a lot of his mistakes early, when less people were paying attention, and improved dramatically by the time it mattered most. Thus, perhaps the shorter primary will be to the benefit of the more seasoned candidates.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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