On Tuesday we voted in the Presidential primaries. On Wednesday the media talked about nothing else. Today, their attention has shifted to South Carolina. Here is my recap:
- We were exposed to campaign efforts by Romney (TV ads, direct mail, phone calls), McCain (direct mail, phone calls), and Huckabee (direct mail, phone calls). They were the top three vote getters; the others were not visible.
- Three Republican candidates received less than 1 percent of the votes; they all were beat by “uncommitted.”
- On election day, my wife stopped answering the phone due to all the political robo calls we were getting.
- We received one call at 2:30 on election day; we had already voted.
- The next day, we received one belated mail piece; it was a wasted effort.
- State officials from both parties said they believe that ultimately the Michigan delegates would be seated at their respective conventions. (Right now, the Democrats are refusing to seat any; the Republicans will only seat half. That is our punishment for moving up our primary.)
- Despite all the controversy, Michigan did garner attention and did have an impact on the process.
- The top three Republican contenders finished in the order of the amount of money they spent. This tells us two things:
- Advertising works.
- An election can be bought.
This may be a cynical conclusion, but nonetheless an inescapable one. It doesn’t matter what the candidates stand for — not really. The primaries are seemingly reduced to who can raise the most money, spend it most strategically, and stay in the good graces of the media
The winner will have proven to be a good campaigner; does that mean they will make a good President? Hardly. That is why we need to do things differently — much differently!
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.