THE SUICIDE WATCH: WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT POLITICAL TV COMMERCIALS?
The Democratic presidential nomination primaries are like an NASCAR race. Cars go round and around the track until they run out of gas. Otherwise known as money.
As we all know, money is the major qualification for running for president today. A candidate can only be viable as long as he doesn’t run out of moola.
The road to the White House this season is littered with abandoned campaign vehicles out of gas, or funds to pay for commercials, considered the hallmark of a serious candidate.
Of the 25 candidates who threw their or their donors’ checkbooks into the Democratic run for the roses in 2020, one I especially miss is the only New Jersey candidate, the Corey Booker Formula One Cannonball Express. The race hasn’t been the same for this primary junky, either, since Kamala Harris’ car went into the pit for refueling and didn’t come out.
When the candidate tells the media and his supporters, he “can’t find a clear path” to the convention in Milwaukee in July, that actually means he is running out of money. Such was the case with poor Mayor Pete two days before 14 states and American Samoa were voting.
The only Maltese-American, the only left-handed, Episcopalian, young, liberal, war veteran, McKinney consultant, mayor of South Bend, Indiana in the race gave “the clear path” excuse for throwing his support to one of the faster cars gaining momentum, the Burisma Joe Biden Here’s the Deal Special. And just when we were finally getting how to say “Buttigieg.”
I was not a big fan of Wall Street Pete’s, a man who never met a hedge fund owner he didn’t like. He may have been the first laboratory-grown presidential candidate. The kid mayor, who looked like his high school yearbook picture, was selling himself as a unifier. “We cannot risk dividing Americans,” he explained, saying he was neither for a revolution or the status quo, sitting in both camps at the same time. As one defender of the Buttigieg straddle said, “Pete was as real as Milli Vanilli, Aspartame, Astro turf, Epstein’s suicide, and Donald’s fake tan.”
The night before Stupor Tuesday, the Amy Klobuchar car pulled into the Big Garage in the Sky. The only Senator from Minnesota could have won the primaries with her hot dish casserole featuring Tater Tots, if Political Home Ec teachers and food page writers did the voting.
As this is being written, Sen. Warren has just dropped out of the race even though she has a plan for how she could still win despite losing the first 15 laps.
Mike Bloomberg was my favorite as a Registered Republican, of course, being the only Republican in the Democratic race.
He also was the only candidate who spent almost half a billion to win American Samoa. As American Samoa goes, let me look it up…*
Mighty Mike was the exception to the gas theory. He dropped out of the race because of his performance on Stupor Tuesday.
He lost the 14 races because he is too short. His other shortcoming, some pundits argued, he was not the world’s greatest debater.
His investment in all those seemingly non-stop commercials, nevertheless, was a major contribution to political science. It proved that money alone couldn’t buy a nomination.
The primaries, I’ve begun to think, may be a scam invented by the broadcasters as a way of making zillions while deluding the voters into thinking the best way to be well -informed about elections is by watching commercials. Recent surveys found respondents thought political commercials more honest than so- called fake news (boo!)
Spending for TV commercials on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, according to data from Advertising Analytics, as of Feb. 28. And that is nothing compared to the carpet-bombing of political ads when the campaigns actually start.
At the risk of sounding like a Bolsheviki, I have two reforms that will improve the situation:
- Some civilized nations limit the length of political campaigns. Six weeks suffice for UK voters. Our floundering fathers never dreamed our campaigns would start with the reading of the last line of the Inaugural Address.
- Free use of the public airwaves for all political messages, thus leveling the amount of gas each car gets.
This is a public health issue today.
A lot people can no longer watch TV news. Programming on cable news networks, especially, has become a series of political commercials interrupted by snippets of Twitter message and the president lying about current events. You’d be amazed about how many people are being made sick by the sound and appearance of President Four More Years.
Marvin Kitman, Fifth Columnist
March 5, 2020