With state elections finished, prepare for the long presidential run

Politics is a never-ending cycle: Just when you think that you can sit back after Election Day and reflect on the success or the loss, another year comes, and another slew of candidates come crawling out of the shadows.

The 2007 election is over, and while it will be wonderful not to be hounded by automated phone calls and canvassers, or not be worrying about the polls, I know that it will be a short-lived pleasure. Because as soon as the dust clears and governor-elect Steve Beshear takes office, larger campaigns will begin their endless journey into our living rooms.

The presidential primaries begin in only a few months, which is baffling to think of when you consider there is an entire year to go until we elect the next president. The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 3, and at least 20 states will hold primaries Feb. 5.

Presidential campaigning will be slim to none in Kentucky though, thanks to the fact that our primary falls in May, followed only by Oregon, Montana and South Dakota. Idaho and New Mexico have their Republican primaries after Kentucky; their Democratic primaries are earlier. So you can see that while Kentucky may not receive the full force of the 2008 political storm, many others will.

Kentucky does have a senatorial seat up for election in 2008 — one that is currently held by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Republican. It seems McConnell isn’t going to waste any time with his campaign: His campaign has already purchased ad time during UK basketball games, a WKYT blogger reported Oct. 26.

Because McConnell has so much power in Congress, you can almost bet that this will be a long, drawn-out and possibly messy race.

As I sit and write this, I’m tired of elections. Being a political science major and being active in the world of politics, I understand the importance of politics and know what needs to be done.

That said, however, I empathize with those who are apathetic or even those who care but just don’t center their lives on the latest poll numbers or the most recent debate. It’s something that dominates our culture now and will only worsen with time.

After all, the 2008 presidential race started almost two years before Election Day.

It seems hard to imagine that anyone in a political office could get actual work done if he or she is spending massive amounts of time trying to get back into office. With the media constructed how it is currently, everything an official votes for or does is recorded and can come back to haunt him or her. It’s impossible for a politician to do something unpopular and not have a struggle when it’s time to run again.

Maybe the continual political game that exists in this modern age is why it seems like too little is being accomplished.

In the 2004 election, Social Security was a major issue, and now it seems that it’s been pushed to the side, apparently unimportant. Because no one was willing to do anything dramatic to shake things up, nothing is being done at all. No one was willing to do anything radical because they knew that, come November, they would pay.

Spending time in politics can make anyone cynical. Then again, reading anything about politics can make a person distrust the system. But this is how our country functions — and how it will continue to function.

Enjoy the aftermath of election 2007, and brace yourself for a long 2008.

Megan Vazmina is a political science senior. E-mail [email protected].