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August 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How early is too early for presidential campaign to begin?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Right now, it's all about the 2010 midterm elections... or is it? As soon as the polls close on November 2 and the winners are announced, the focus will shift to the presidential race of 2012.

Even though that may seem far away... for some, the presidential campaign has already begun.

Potential Republican hopefuls are already logging multiple visits to key early states - like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.... he's set to make his fifth visit to Iowa next week... he's also made three trips to New Hampshire.

Pawlenty insists he won't decide whether or not to run until early next year. Maybe… but in the meantime he's working it.... big-time. Meeting local politicians, shaking hands with voters, making speeches about how to fix the country, talking about his blue-collar background, raising money for his political action committee... you get the idea.

And Pawlenty is not the only one. Far from it.

According to Radio Iowa, since the 2008 presidential race ended, the following politicians have been to Iowa multiple times: former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Also, former Governors Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and George Pataki have each been once.

It could very well be one of this crop who hopes to unseat Pres. Obama.

For the rest of us, this means before you know it… we'll be bombarded daily with polls and television ads and fund-raising pleas and debates... and all the wonderful things that go along with a presidential campaign. Wolf is positively giddy in anticipation.

Here’s my question to you: How early is too early for another presidential campaign to begin?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jason in Birmingham, Alabama writes:
American politicians spend too much time running and not enough time governing. A short election cycle – say, no longer than a few months – would allow more time to get to the business of making this country work for real people, not just political pundits.

Tom in Iowa writes:
I live in Iowa and I have to put up with these ads and visits from the campaigns for almost 3 years out of every 4. I am sure I speak for many Iowans who would say, stay the hell out of our lives until at least February of 2011.

Cindy in Texas writes:
I actually think there should be laws about this like they have in England, where campaigns cannot last longer than 90 days prior to Election Day. This long, endless campaigning is a whole lot of what is wrong with our political system. It takes too much money, and big money corrupts the process.

David writes:
Considering the current occupant in the White House, not soon enough!

Ron writes:
October 2012 is too soon. Each 4 years we start earlier and produce less and less competent candidates and presidents. Long campaigns only bring increased mediocrity.

JC writes:
Since the incumbent is running all the time, it is never too early for the opponents to start.

Gordon in Las Cruces, New Mexico writes:
Never too soon, especially on slow news days. It's like a soap opera without the distracting commercials.

soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    There shouldn't be any campaigning until one year before the election. That's plenty of time for each candidate so say the same thing thousands of times.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Jim Mazenis

    In regards to President Obama, any presidential campaign he begins will not be considered too early, for he is already too late.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: Today is way to early, but the media wants to stoke the fires of political conflict, so anytime is the right time for the media. We are in a constant political season; therefore, nothing gets accomplished in Congress, and President Obama is out making speeches. President Obama would like to sign reform legislation into law, but it is to unpopular or it is to politically hot to handle right now. The constant political campaigning stops outcomes the people need and want.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Matt

    As long as there is no real campaign finance reform all political campaigns will be constantly running in some fashion. It is past time to put both dollar limits and time limits on all political campaigns.

    Matt
    Rockford

    August 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Frankly, we would prefer to NOT start hearing the lies until at least next October.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Jerry Driskell

    Hello ? Where have you been ? It started on Jan. 20th., 2009

    JerryinGA

    August 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  7. Arnold MI

    The presidential campaign started on inauguration day and is reported by the news agencies on a regular basis, usually daily. It is called "the issues."

    If you follow the news, you will know who to vote for before the campaign officially begins and if you don't like any of the candidates, you can always vote for the party that best represents you own interests.

    Campaigns are for the uninformed.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  8. steve in florida

    January 21,2009 but apparently the GOP decided that political ankle biting was more important than doing their jobs.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Mark, Oklahoma City

    I don't know, Jack, but I do see a day where as soon as a new president takes the oath of office, the first line in his inaugural address will be, "And I would like to announce that I will be a candidate for president in four years whether I accomplish anything or not."

    August 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Paul Austin, Texas

    It is never to early if that is your goal. If you have the millons it takes to win and the guts to take it when everyone turns on you once you get in. It is never to early if you really think you can make the difference. The next campaign should start the day after the elections are done.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    About a month before the election, or something like what they do in Europe – they have more common sense than we do. Unfortunately, a politician thinks the day of the election is not too early to start campaigning for the next one. Of course that precludes them from getting anything done. Perhaps if they did their jobs (i.e. work for us) they wouldn’t need 2-4 years trying to convince us they are working for us.

    And as soon as the media starts to cover the campaigns, I will go into hibernation until it is over – the mud slinging is far too sickening to watch.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  12. Tina Tx

    It is like the school year they start earlier and earlier so we will not forget what we should have learned last time.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  13. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, since there really isn't any decent TV on these days it can start now as far as I'm concerned so we can have some good comedy added into our lives. The debates are really funny to watch. So let the games begin soon.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  14. Steve Stout from Concord, CA

    It's never too early, Jack, for politicans to gear up for another presidential campaign., and the earlier the better. With the way the current administration has bungled up the war, the economy, health care, and the recent oil spill disaster, new candidates are sensing the blood in the waters, so to speak, and are ready to pounce on any signs of weakness. This will embolden candidates to go on the offensive, while these failures are still fresh in themedia. Incumbents, no matter how long they have been in office, need to realize that if they haven't been doing the things that they promised to do if elected, they won't be able to depend on the people who elected them to keep them for a subsequent term.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Ed

    If the only thing you do well is campaign it's never to early to start campaigning.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  16. Kevin in Dallas

    Honestly, any thing more than a year. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can really do to stop it, except not vote for the eternal campaigner.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Sam

    Cynics would say presidential hopefuls are always campaigning. But on the other hand, the stuff it takes to be president isn't made of ordinary material, and the stress of long-term campaigns could be a good indicator of who is up for the immensely tense and stressful job of president of this land. If some of the lesser known, long-shot 2012 potentials like Ron Paul were to start campaigning for president now, he'd have the battle already fought in name-recognition and message awareness among the general populace. But because the interesting candidates actually wait too late to jump into the race, they sacrifice exposure and electability for limelight timing. Slow and steady and early wins the race.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  18. Fran, Michigan

    Has it really ever stopped????????

    August 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  19. gordon

    Never too soon, especially on slow news days. It's like a soap opera without the distracting commercials.

    Las Cruces, NM

    August 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  20. Elizabeth in Los Angeles

    Apparently it's never too soon. I'm tired of it/them already.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  21. southerncousin

    Obama has never quit. He still makes empty promises as they are called by democrats, the rest of us call them lies.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    The republicans have been campaigning since Obama took the oath of office. Their priorities are running a smear campaign against all democrats and have nothing to do with governance and every thing to do with November. The fact that we have to deal with this chicanery every two years is an abomination of what our founding fathers had in mind.
    If the president has term limits, why not these scalawags?
    Send them packing every two terms and we'll see an end to this obsession with November.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  23. Jayne

    Anything before January of the actual election year is too early. It's all a waste of time anyway. You vote for someone based upon what they campaign on and once they're in office they do whatever the heck they please anyway.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Kathie

    Right on!! I am already be innundated with calls from political parties wanting money, of course and pleading their case. . I am not responsible for what I said to them which not so politely was where was the money to come from my disability check, why is it the only time I hear for them is at election time and when the politicians start representing the will of the people (not their special interests) I might reconsider. Did they give up–no! I for one am sick of this already.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  25. BOB WHITE 'N KS

    Until we have fair and honest elections, our American politics will remain the same as now: It is never too soon to lie and cheat to get elected to public service... local, state & national.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  26. Charlene

    If Obama would include Bill Clinton as one of his top advisers then there would be no need for another election. He would surely win and the country and Obama would be in better shape.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  27. Mr D

    It depends on which party you are in. If your a Democrat, you better start now. If you are a Republican, maybe you should just forget it-Sarah will help sweep you into office. Actually, do politicians ever not campaign for office?

    August 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  28. tom trapani, quito, ec

    Anything serious attempt that starts 90 days before the election. Add to the equation the new Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations including non US types to put money into a campaign. What you get is pure mayhem plus an almost guarantee that the system will be further corrupted in favor of the special interest to the detriment of the people meaning the "small people" to quote a recent characterization by a powerful special interest leader.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  29. Moe Dallas TX

    I think november 1st is about right.. They will be able to tell enough lies by election time to satisfy most of us !! Wait- saying lies might mean I'll be taken out of context, lets say miss-speaks instead..

    August 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Mike S., New Orleans

    A year would be plenty of time for a presidential campaign. But you can't stop people like Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal who started campaigning in 2008.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  31. joe m

    funny, but it never seems early enough for anyone elected. instead of concentrating on the job they were hired for, elected officials, the president included, are more interested in assuring that they get to keep their powerful seats when the time for re-election comes. no wonder we are in the mess we are in.

    NC

    August 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  32. Russ in PA

    Of course it's too early. Perhaps we should look at the German method: six weeks of campaigning, and only on public funds. No donations, no lobbyists, no corporate money.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    August 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  33. Rev. Dr. Ken New Baltimore

    Oct 01, 2012. The last one was absurd. I was so sick of listening to politicians bad-mouthing each other for 2 yrs. I know that the President is already campaigning for 2010, in fact, he hasn't stopped. He's flying here, flying there, and campaigning at least once a week. I wonder how much Air Force One is costing us, and how many pollutants it spews per minute.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  34. Brian Smith PhD, San Diego CA

    Leadership of our country should not be a cash cow for the advertising industry. Essentially, it is possible to “buy” an election as evidenced by Meg Whitman spending her billions on the California’s Governor’s race. Therefore, the election season should contain no media advertising and there should be a ban on incumbents using there office for sound bites. In other words take the profit out of it for broadcast and print media, and perhaps the media will report on the issues and not how someone has had Market Street ad agencies package a product.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  35. Joan B

    How eary Jack? Obama has never stopped campaigning since the day he took Office Jan 20, 2009. He's ridiculous.
    Joan
    Mn

    August 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  36. Sylvia from San Diego

    Jack,

    Barack is already campaining for a second terrm. We need to pass legislation that states the following:

    1) Taxpayers to give free airtime on TV and Radio EQUALLY to each candidate so that they can debate their points.

    2) The campainging process is to span only 2 months.

    3) Taxpayers will provide a equal budget amount for each candidate so spend for whatever else they want. They CAN NOT take donations or spend any of their own money....

    Perhaps then we will have better candidates to choose from.... The process we have today is broken and needs to be fixed.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  37. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    If Sarah is going to run, there is no such thing as too soon. We have all been so serious for the last two years and we deserve some comic relief.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  38. Nate from Manassas, VA

    Well Jack, Sarah Palin was asked on November 5th, 2008 if she was running for president in 2012... so clearly there has to be a 24 hour courtesy window, but after that its fair game.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  39. Dennis north Carolina

    January 2, 2012 is early enough for the election of that year. you should ask how many illegal people will vote in that election? we could change our name to Mexico north and change our charter or teach our children a different language.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  40. Richard From Georgia

    I must have missed something I thought that they were allways campaigning every time they open there mouth. Or am i confusing campaiging with shoveling?

    August 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  41. Melissa

    Yes. The current President hasn't even been in office two years. This idiotic bull has got to stop. A time limit should be set that restrictss all candidates from beginning their campaign more than a year before the end of the last leaders time in office. And that goes for all elected officials.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  42. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl we haven't even had an impeachment yet or obama's real birth certificate pop up, so no. i don't think i could stand another 3 years of cnn's daily interviews of sarah palin debating on if she will run or not.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  43. Leslie

    To early? What are you smoking? The president is always campaigning all the way up and until they are sworn into a second term. Then all bets are off. I thought everyone knew that Jack.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  44. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    I take into consideration what we voters must experience during a presidential campaign and believe that all campaigning, including that for the nomination begin in mid-October with both conventions held during the final week of October. Followed by a nice 3 or 4 day official presidential campaign.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  45. Jane (Minnesota)

    Any date prior to the year of the election is too early for me!

    August 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  46. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, as a Canadian, I believe America is in perpetual campaign mode. It never stops, occasionally lapsing into slow dance mode every now and then but soon taking to jitterbug tempo. Every facet of American life is in some way touched by politics. It doesn't take long to know the political affiliation of a person or media outlet. It's a living, breathing phenomenon that is part of the American culture.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  47. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Since there has not been a new idea in our political discussion in forty years, it make no difference when some joker wants to run for president. Remember a time when a man working a modest job could support his family? That was before my time, Jack. Remember when public schools taught knowlege and skills to be used in real life? My parents do, I don't. Does any politician have a plan to keep jobs in America? Last I heard they thought saving the auto industry was socialist entitlement. They had no problem bailing out the billionaires.
    Do you see what I mean? Since there are no ideas coming from those running, it make no difference when they run. The garbage will still smell just as foul.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  48. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It is way too early to be talking about a presidential campaign. The more time they talk the longer we will have to listen to their lies. One month of hearing their lies is enough. Obama the so called liberal savior turned out to be a judas to the working class legal americans. More wars, more defense contractors, more k street lobbyists, more bailouts for banksters, 15% tax rate for billionaire hedge fund managers, more illegal workers, more foreclosures, more bonuses for wall street, more trade deficits, more budget deficits, more unemployment for the working class, and 0 dollars in taxes collected from exxon/mobil in 2009.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  49. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Four years seems about right. The day after the 2008 election the pundits were already discussing who will run in 2012. Of course if we had listened to the Pundits in early 2008 the race would have been between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  50. Toni

    Not early enough! I was a Democrat, turned Independent and Obama and his "lets all be friends" attitude is making me sick! He has done nothing to help create jobs, or decrease the deficit, and always ignores the hard stuff until he sees a victory! Yet, he jumps into things that has nothing to do with running the country like the professor and the cop's business and the quick firing of Ms. Sherod BEFORE they had the facts! Jack, I am tired of being "talked" at! Even a child gets tired of that! And, that is ALL Obama has done!

    South Carolina

    August 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  51. Pete from Georgia

    Too early would be NOW.
    There should be federal laws prohibiting campaigning before Jan. 1, 2012.
    In the days of Lincoln they started their campaigns in August................THREE months before the elections. They must have known how much BS the average citizen could actually stand.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    For the voters with long term memories, averting a second Great Depression, health care reform, Wall Street and bank reform, stimulus job creation will all count in their vote. For voters with poor memories, only miracles worked in waning days will count.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  53. Annie, Atlanta

    Any period of time longer than 2 months before the actual election is too long. And that's being generous. Can you imagine what the money these idiots sink into this process could buy? We could educate the ignorant masses.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  54. Arlene, Illinois

    Isn't running for office a full time job?
    Vote for a few things then back to running for office.
    Take a free junket then back to running for office.
    Do one town hall then back to running for office.
    Kiss a baby here and there then back to running for office.
    Do a lot of fund raisers then back to running for office.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  55. monica williams

    Jack I sure hope they all start campaigning right now. Maybe then we can get some answers to questions such as who is paying for the mother daughter vacation to spain? I have seen an estimate of the revenue this trip is likely to generate. With the unemployment and foreclosure rates at an all time high, and the financial melt down we have all experienced, isn't there somewhere in the US they can vacation and bring that state the much needed revenue. I don't want to pay for their vacation heck I can't pay for my own vacation for the first time in 30 years! The arrogance of this administration is unprecedented! I personally can't wait for the campaigning to begin!

    August 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  56. Tony from Southport

    It depends on which president to whom you are reffering. President Obama has been campaigning for the presidency non stop since his initial run for the Senate, and continues to campaign every day.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  57. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well we were sick of the last one that ran what, two years. They need to run Mickey Mouse Cartoons instead. Where is Al Capp when we need him.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  58. ken from connecticut

    The campaign really begins when the election is over and a new or current president is elected. The question really isn't for us but for the media. When do you start to report that the campaigns have begun!

    August 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  59. Wm, Penna

    Jack,

    Do campaigns ever end? Our Congress spends more than half it's time on vacation or campaigning but now with corporations able to pay them outright maybe the vacation to fund raising time will rise. Session time or reading legislation time will not increase.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  60. Mac from Vacaville

    In the good old days, candidates had time to work on their agendas, policies, and clearly form their platform for the upcoming elections. However, its not the "good old days" anymore. In today's world, its all about how much press time a candidate gets and how much money they spend. A fine example of this is the dog from Alaska. Forget your platform, ideals, and values...no one cares about that. Just say anything that comes to mind on national television, regardless of how idiotic it may sound.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  61. Debbie Wittmann

    3 months of campaigning and T.V. ads is more than enough! These politicians spend more time campaigning than actually working.

    Illinois

    August 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  62. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Anytime before July 4th of 2012, the people can just listen to so many damn lies, promises they can't or won't keep, it is all a bunch of garbage. Just give me a ballot and I'll vote for the scum bag that is least likely to screw the american people.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  63. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Politicans campaign every day but I think the general population would like having the campaign start one week from election day. That would be enough of that nonsense. They dirty our roadsides with signs and ring our phones off the hook. Give them one week. That's plenty.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  64. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Good Lord Jack! I still haven't recovered from the last one and I'm getting five to ten robo political calls on a daily basis! Is it any wonder that voters are sick to death of politics long before any election? They really need to give us a break as people have probably already decided how they're going to vote before the calls start!

    August 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  65. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Too Early?? Presidential campaigns, anymore, start the next day after the election.. A Good Example? The previous 2008 campaign and election. It started 2 years before the actual election took place. That, in my opinion, is a big part of the problem with do nothing elected officials- they are in the campaign mode all of the times , as opposed to being in a mind set to represent the people....Getting elected or re-elected seems to be the focus of Congress as opposed to representation of the people.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  66. naqibham

    That's all he does... campaign and spend money...

    2012 can't come fast enough

    August 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  67. Eric Wasek

    For politicians, it is never to early to start a campaign for the presidency. The earlier they start means the more endorsements they can acquire, the more speeches they can give, and the more people they can try to persuade. But ethicly, a campaign for the presidency should start a little over and year before the election. It is time for politicains to work together with the current adminstration and find solutions for Americans, rather than worry about how to become the next President.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  68. gerry in toronto

    My 12 year old cousin who lives in New York state has already hired his first adviser and fund raiser to ready himself for the 2052 election..The early bird gets the worm jack, don't you know that??????

    August 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  69. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Too Early?? Presidential campaigns, anymore, start the next day after the election.. A Good Example? The previous 2008 campaign and election. It started 2 years before the actual election took place. That, in my opinion, is a big part of the problem with "do nothing" elected officials- they are in the campaign mode all of the time. They are in the campaign mind set, be it for Presidential elections or Congressional elections all of the time. It's personal to the individual , as opposed to being in a mind set to represent the people....Getting elected or re-elected seems to be the focus of Congress as opposed to representation of the people.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  70. JOE CE

    Campaigns should start after Labor Day. Maybe this would reduce the obsence cost.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  71. Gail, Plano TX

    You're a little late with this question, Jack. The 2012 presidential. Campaign started on January 22, 2009, the day after President Obama was inaugurated. Didn't u notice? The Republicans, foaming at the mouth, began their crusade to take the WH back from the first black President elected. They are relentless in their efforts to defeat him. Full of hate, and no ideas, they haven't got a prayer but like a dog with a bone, they continue with their foul diatribe. They are big time losers!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  72. Jeff In Minnesota

    As I recall, Jimmy Carter started around two years out from the 1976 election. Candidates can start whenever they want at the risk of alienating the voting population because people will get tired of hearing about them.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  73. Ann Marie from SC

    Any time before January of 2012 is too early for me. Those endless campaigns make my brain go numb.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  74. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    Most politicians obviously believe that it is never too early to campaign.
    This sorry attitude effectively makes them try to work two full time jobs at once, the one they were already elected to do, and the other jetting about trying to raise funds for re-election.
    This results in a grievous conflict of interest. No one can properly do two full time jobs. It would appear to also be a major reason why America's politicians are doing such an efficient job of running your wonderful country into fiscal and moral bankruptcy.
    The primary goal of career politicians has become fundraising. Managing America has been relegated to the sidelines. The dreadful results can be seen in the ruined lives of the foreclosure victims all over America.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  75. Alexander

    In light of the media's critical eye currently scrutinizing President Obama, now may actually be a good time for Republicans to campaign. If not for the 2012 election, at least for the decisive midterm elections coming up. However, the earlier they start campaigning, the harder it will be for them to keep arguing the same points come 2012. They tread a fine line, and if they tread well, one of them may soon find himself under the same critical eye currently plaguing the Obama Administration.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  76. Susan from Idaho

    If you want to be re-elected you are doing the re-elect me two step from the day you take office.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  77. Norm

    The Democrats haven't stopped campaigning since the last election. What have they really done? The Republicans haven't figured out what the date is yet.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  78. mark...in Houston

    Not before the time that Mayan Calendar thing is supposed to happen in 2012, you know,.... the end of the world.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  79. Gigi Oregon

    Since I got so sick and tired of the media and politics during the last Presidential election I will probably along with my friends take a Hiatus from now until around 10-31-12 . If it's going to start now.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  80. OBDAG from Appleton, WI

    Jack, now, or even November 2010 is way to early to start the 2012 presidental campaign. In the last go around CNN was the problem by starting daily coverage 2 years in advance of the actual election date. This time CNN should stay quiet until one year prior to the election date, which still leaves plenty of time for the campaign. Even better yet national TV networks should forego coverage until after Labor day 2012. That still allows 60 days for coverage which should be adequate.Sorry, if I stepped on your toes but you brought up the question. Personally, I hope I never have to put up with another presidental campaign like the one in 2008 which thanks to you, and the network was way overboard for most people.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  81. Nancy, Tennessee

    I don't know about the rest of the nation, but for me now is too early to start hearing about who will win in 2012. I wish the hopefuls would wait until the new wears off the floor in the Presidential suite at the White House. President and Mrs. Obama have probably just gotten the last things unpacked. I would like to give President Obama more time to work on the problems of this nation without the Republicans exerting pressure about who will replace him in 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  82. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,
    This is the system ....and governance goes on!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  83. Scott Stodden

    I Would Think That Whoever Is Planning To Run In 2012 Would Want To Start The Campaigning Process As Early As Now But Most Defiently The Day After The Mid-Term Elections In November! The Republican Candidates Who Do Decide To Run Are Going To Have To Draw Up As Much Support As They Can And The Kind Of Support That A Republican Candidate Needs You Have To Campain Now In Order To Beat Democrats! The Time Is Now To Start Campaigning Jack!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  84. John from San Antonio

    More than three months from the election is too early. The reality is though that they should start campaigning the day after an election so they don't get involved in anything causing more problems.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  85. ben stockton, calif

    yes its early. most imcumbents will be in for a surprise come november. how true is that someone is trying to eliminate the red or blue states category and let the president be nominated by only the popular vote instead ot the electoral vote. im for that except that i feel a lot problems will rise up with voting machines or paper work that gets mishandled etc. all the candidates will promise everything but for now its mud slinging time and will be right up to the election.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  86. Jennifer W.

    Obama has yet to STOP campaigning. He started after only 1 year as a Senator.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  87. Danny Paul Carrone

    Doesnt matter who starts first....who ever spends the most, wins.....thats politics in america......

    August 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  88. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    They started too early last time and started running out of money to campaign with maybe they should wait a little more longer then the last time .

    August 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  89. Tom in Iowa

    I live in Iowa and I have to put up with these ads and visits from the campaigns for almost 3 years out of every 4. I am sure I speak for many Iowans who would say, stay the hell out of our lives until at least February of 2011.

    Tom in Iowa

    August 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  90. Gary Las Vegas

    How should i put this? Oh, ANYTIME!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  91. Karl J

    Given how badly Obama is doing the GOP can't start too early looking for a replacement.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  92. Bob

    Jack, I think all politicans should be on a new "political" channel and leave us alone. Wanta bet there rating would be so bad they would get cancelled.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  93. Beverly H Tatum Charlotte NC

    Campaigning should not begin before a year before election day. However, since every Republican is running for President, it will take the GOP a long time to pick who they want to be the one to lose to President Obama in 2012.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  94. terry

    six months or six days whichever comes first. be easy on us PLEASE

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  95. Steve D

    Jack a good old fashioned campaign when people were decent could go on forever. Now we have such sleaze bags in office that I still can't get all the mud washed off from the last election. The day before the election would be too soon for me!!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  96. Alex Landi

    Jack-
    Anytime sooner than about a month before the 2012 election is too soon to be bombarded. All you love-every-minute-of-this media types have to do is just say no, and don't inhale.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  97. John, Colorado

    Let the games begin! May the least crooked, perverted, or bought-and-and-paid-for win! Thank God for cell phones - a place where political robocalls can't find me.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  98. Ted

    Jack,

    It depends on who you are talking about. Sarah Palin, any time is too early. Let her go back to her front porch in Alaska and uh look at Russia. Let's get someone involved who is serious about being President.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  99. J C Fouse

    Since the incumbent is running all the time, it is never to early for the opponets to start.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  100. Jason from Birmingham

    American politicians spend too much time running and not enough time governing. A short election cycle – – say, no longer than a few months – – would allow more time to get to the business of making this country work for real people, not just political pundits.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  101. Johnathan

    It's always too early. Our nation swims in debt, war, crime, poverty, etc.., yet our elected officials take the time for early campaigning. If only they would be that interested in raising money to fix our country's problems and put their personal ambitions aside.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  102. Joey from Gahanna, Ohio

    If a presidential campaign started the day the winner of the previous elections was inaugurated, maybe, just maybe that could be considered too early. Running for the 2016 election today may also be considered too early, but that's just me.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  103. David Brown

    Considering the current occupant in the White House, not soon enough!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Akash

    there's no such thing as to early! im 18 years old and i announced last year to all that i will be running for the 2048 election.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Joe Domingo

    As long as the date falls before January 1st, of the 2012. Declaring your candidacy after would be like submitting a term paper way after the deadline is due. Lets hope that the Democrats do something clever and effective before then.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Erla Williams

    I think , that's the time, I put my TV, on HOLD...These miserable, CONSTANT, repeat & REPEATED ads, right now are, frankly, driving me Crazy... Our Local channels are running these, a good 20 times , if not more, EVERY miserable DAY.. I keep telling them to .." SHUT UP ", but they never listen to me, SO I MUTE them. Anything for a breather, from all this crap.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  107. Lyn

    January 2012. I am so sick of the campaigns already.
    If they would tell you what they are running on instead of lying and running other politicans down it wouldn't be quite so bad.
    I guess maybe that is their nature and don't have a plan as to what they are going to do.
    At least one of them has no idea about politics, she just likes to talk about a guys cojones.
    Do we want to have a female President like that? No.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  108. Cameron Gallucci

    I guess it's never too early for American politicians. The so-called former governor of Alaska (wow, now that's a challenging position to fill) quit her job mid-term & started a homemade campaign the minute she lost out in 2008.

    Cameron Gallucci, Dallas

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  109. Ron Moore

    October 2012 is too soon. Each 4 years we start earlier and produce less and less competent candidates and Presidents. Long campaigns only bring increased mediocrity.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Jorge

    For my personal taste I'd say a week before the election, however we all know that to Rebublicans the start of their campaign for our next election started the day after Obama was elected!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  111. Randy in Washington

    Jack,

    It's never to early to start a presidential campaign that supports a true American Patriot.

    The American people and Congressman Ron Paul started campaigning in 2007.... Ron Paul 2012

    Randy

    August 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Oh No...!!! Time to change how we elect these wannabe's. All public financed elections – no business and industry's allowed to buy our politicians – if they want to give their money away – donate to a charity, research and development but no more big money in these elections – it is disgraceful and totally wasteful. We should also institute term limits – no more career politicians – we need to keep young and new ideas afloat ....this constant politiking is very divisive and we all lose.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  113. Neva Martin

    Jack, we're already "bombarded daily with polls and television ads and fund-raising pleas and debates"; nobody knows how to govern any more, they just keep running for office. I'd like to run them out of town with tar and feathers; to keep them from feathering their nests with self-serving nonsense. Give Obama a break!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  114. Griff

    "The Early Bird can only get the Worm's, Jack. It will be the sly one who wait's, who gets through the gates."

    August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  115. John

    Jack,

    I, for one, am sick of them–the politicians, that is. I haven't heard the truth from most political ads (i live near South Carolina) in MONTHS.

    My suggestion: let's adopt the British system... no campaigning until two months before the election! (To me, that means no TV coverage either.) So let's do that.

    And... if it takes a Constitutional Amendment to get it done, let's do that, too.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  116. MIke in TX

    We are now constantly barraged by news organizations (more than just Wolfe are giddy) discussing everything that happens daily and it's potential impact on this or that election. Both parties operate everything they do based on elections. These days are evidence in that the Republicans will constantly vote against things that are good for the country or even that they initiated to avoid giving the view of Democrat accomplishments any appearance of success. Along with election finance reform we need election campaign reforms to limit the time spent on these efforts. Alas Jack I suspect we will see you and Wolfe playing bachiball in FL before any of that will happen

    August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  117. Mark from Michigan

    Honestly Jack...October 2012 is still too soon. They all run their mouth, but hardly say anything at all. I get more real information from my 2.5 yo granddaughter. If I could, I'd ban them from commercial air time. Print only. Lets see how literate they really are. Make them write their positions in black and white. I bet we have fewer idiots getting elected. I refer to the previous president, speaking a Yale: "even a C student can become president."

    August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  118. Cindy from Texas

    I actually think there should be laws about this like they have in England, where campaigns cannot last longer than 90 days prior to election day. This long, endless campaigning is a whole lot of what is wrong with our political system. It takes too much money, and big money corrupts the process.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Jim Blevins

    We have definitely arrived at a state of continuous campaigning for president of the USA. If you consider the importance of the position, that is probably best. Look at the advantage - no more "jimmy who"'s will be nominated.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  120. wm in Texas

    Jack,
    This is America where the candidate with the most money wins. Our congress spends most of it's time on campaign fund raising and vacation. Now that corporate-persons can just buy them outright they have more time for vacationing but not for reading the legislation written for them.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    After the last debacle, we need to start NOW!
    Think about it, we had a three ring circus last time that would have made P.T. Barnum proud. You couldn't have written a more ridiculous script. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic for so many. We didn't stop with Helicopter Ben, Harry Reid ( yes, that's his real name), Joe "Tourette syndrome" Wilson and the rest of the "JUST US League"

    We even had Palin the Clown.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  122. Ralph Spyer

    The next day after the election sound about right.If this country can elect Regan or Bush one or Bush two my God: Anybody that wants the presidency so much that they will spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  123. Alex Reyes

    The Brits have it all over us in this department, Jack–six to eight week general election periods. What sane country needs more of such madness???

    August 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  124. Name*Mark Angell

    Cheers for the British and there 3 month election window for prime minister

    August 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  125. honestjohn in vermont

    There should be a law against any campaigning until 30 days before the election.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  126. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    It's never too early to start 'hammering' those Presidential wannabees into submission. Can't just sit by idly and just let bad things happen.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  127. Karl from SF, CA

    Jack, you mean it hasn't started already? I could have sworn I saw Sara Palin campaigning. Me bad.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  128. asperling

    Jack: Thanks for taking my response. This country all they think about is up coming elections. I am tired of this mid term elections. Even if we as US citizens voted it wouldn't count anyway, besides you have all these dead people, Illegal aliens and corrupt politicians (I forgot there is no corrupt politicians) really turn their attentions to what they ran on and help people like myself try to get work. I hate elections because they do nothing but lie and now not even telling you want you want to hear. This thing "elections" is nothing but lies and just a way of taking our attentions away from what is really happening in this so called country. I am tired of voting and not seeing my voice heard. I love living day to day when my last day of living in a house because of no work. Let them do their job, or else they should not be allowed to run just like in the work place if you do not do your job the way the company wants you to work, you are fired, so should these "politicians" be fired and not allowed to collect unemployment or have health care.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  129. Brian (From Chicago)

    It's a race to label the other guy before he label's you. So, it is never too early to start campaigning. Barack Obama is going to have to defend himself with all the attacks that will come his way after the November Elections. Otherwise, Republican opponents will label him as a weak President. He will hit back. So, let the games begin.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  130. Cameron Gallucci

    I guess it's never too early for American politicians. The so-called former governor of Alaska (wow, now that's a challenging position to fill) quit her job mid-term & started a homemade & started a homemade campaign the minute she lost out in 2008.

    Cameron Gallucci, Dallas

    August 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  131. jim spencer

    Jack, Listening to two years of early political banter reminds me of why they put the "mute" button on my remote. Here we go again.
    Jim from South Carolina

    August 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  132. Joan

    Perish the thought. We should adopt the way they have elections in England. They all have the same number of months in which to campaign and the same amount of funds. They seem to do just fine with this. Now that the big companies will be able to pour money into the campaigns the voting public will soon turn away. I know I will

    August 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  133. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, we are already in Presidential election mode, and have been since Jan, 20, 2009. We get a new poll and a new guesstimate of who's running and who's not, every day. Enough to make a sane person scream. The pollesters and media have to have a job I guess, but to tell the truth, these early guesses, polls, visits, etc, ad nauseum, just bore me to tears. I'd rather watch Faux Network and listen to them beat up the Dems.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  134. Annie, Atlanta

    Any period of time longer than 2 months before the actual election is too long. And that's being generous.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  135. grammiejudy

    It is practically a given that the Dems have their candidate for 2012, unless something very strange happens. So,, looks like the Repubs will have to "duke it out" and I expect that fun to start happening in a month or so. It will be interesting the path that some of the GOP hopefuls will take and just who will be in the running.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  136. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Now is too early. Tired of paying taxes for salaries of politicians who are running for office as soon as they take office. And ... we have an entire party in office now that is collecting salaries & benefits who are doing nothing in the way of governance. They stated as soon as this President took office that they would not work with this administration and have been obstructionists for a year and a half. Then we have a media that has purposely pushed "short memory syndrome" to facilitate the misdirection and propaganda enabling the corporate agenda. We need election reform and limitations on time to run for office. We need full disclosure on amounts & contributors to candidates. That would help in governance and limiting to some degree wasteful spending of our tax dollars.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  137. kathy from phx,az

    What do you mean Jack? The republicans have been campaigning non-stop since President Obama was elected with their lies and hate campaign. God forbid if they take over the House and Senate because the crazy right wing will ruin us all if they haven't started too already. I am amazed how stupid people really are in this country!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  138. Sandra

    Jack,

    Please! It is too soon to begin 2012 presidential campaigning. You guys (media) do a lot to create this divisive social atmosphere. You want as much drama as you can conjure in the minds of the people for the sake of a story. I beg you. Give us a chance to come together before you start feeding the potential candidates the possibilities of more differences and more poisonous inferences. We want to save this country, but a house divided against itself cannnot stand.

    We need to come together to believe in our country and what our current leader is trying to do, and hold our elected officials accountable to do their job.

    Peace.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  139. Ray in Nashville

    Let's see, Jack. The 2012 race began on November 5, 2008 and I was sick and tired of it by November 6, 2008. In this information age, they should hold the primaries in early August and let the winners go at it until November.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  140. tony distefano

    Jack: Nowadays, starting our presidential campaign any time is too soon. If the Brits can conduct their campaign in 6 weeks, surely we can do ours in 3 months! We'll know just as much about the candidates in 3 months as we will in 2 years anyway! Tony

    August 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  141. Kim in ATL

    I can't take it anymore. Christmas hype is 11 months long and political election season is 23 months or more. While I appreciate all of the marketeers out there...please! You cannot hold my attention that long evidenced by the fact that by the time Christmas is here I'm looking forward to the New Year; by the time elections are finally held the previously elected have put aside the work they were elected to do and are crusading about whatever is the hot topic of the day, I'm left standing here screaming in my living room. Term Limitation concept here too...just a thought.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  142. asperling

    Contd:

    Jack, even when we vote, too much comes up like raw sewedge, plus with all these people who vote, most of them are either not registered or are dead. Amazing how lots of votes come from people who are dead or not alive or are not registered. Plus does your vote really count? does it? I really don't think so, look at who actually runs, it is either voting for a pile of smelly trash or another pile of smelly trash. You really don't see honest and caring people running. If we can allow people like Sarah Palin or have Bush as our President for 2 terms just says that we are the worst country in the world as far as ethics go.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  143. Michael from Keller, Texas

    Jack with the current climate of unfettered bribes and graft being thrown politicians way, you can see them already climbing all over each other trying to make sure that they get the lion's share of campaign donations. Sarah Palin has never left the campaign trail from 2008...still selling her soul to the highest bidder.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  144. John Hopper

    Now is WAY too early.–BUT you can count on the media and populace in Iowa and New Hamption to love the cold hard cash spent by politicians promoting themselves and the attention brought to these two states. (They "make" or "break" many "beginners"). This cries for legislation that will never happen: (1) Public financing of potential canditates and (2) placing a limit on time to begin. Aain, the media would fight this tell "hell froze over".

    August 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  145. keeth in cali

    It's amazing how right-wingers here feel they can criticize Obama for "continuous campaigning" and yet ignore GW Bush's 8 years of "campaigning." Both extremes only focus on the other while ignoring their own candidate's actions. Hypocrites, all of them on the right and the left.

    Campaigns should not begin before March of a presidential election year (IMHO).

    August 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  146. thom richer

    Jack,

    It has already been too much to deal with since the last inauguration took place. All the losers from the 2008 campaign never stopped "running" along with the minority's chosen few whom they wished would have been running in 2010 instead of McCain and Palin. Unfortunately for the Right, they once again have no credible candidate for the 2012 election and will be running the same batch of candidates with no chance of winning which will make "anytime" too early to start. Also, elections to the White House are no longer determined by votes but rather by who has the most money which makes any campaign too long.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  147. tony distefano

    Jack: Nowadays, starting our presidential campaign any time is too soon! If the Brits can conduct their campaign in 6 weeks, surely we can do ours in 3 months. We'll know just as much about the candidates in 3 months as we do in 2 years anyway. And, it will be a lot cheaper! Tony from South Carolina

    August 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  148. Stephen

    We should be like the British – 5 weeks and the campaigns are over.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  149. Benjamin Parish, South Central Pennsylvania

    Its never too early to stand up for what you believe in, as I believe in liberty. This idea, Liberty, is a dying breed and it is time someone stands up for it or it could be lost forever.

    Dr. Ron Paul For President 2012... Join The Revolution. I Have..

    August 3, 2010 at 5:53 pm |