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If only I could raise $30 million in three weeks…

September 28, 2007

According to CNN’s Political Ticker, Newt Gingrich announced Monday that he would enter the campaign if donors contributed “at least $30 million… over a three-week period starting Monday and ending Oct. 21.”

But before you all experience a euphoria-induced blog-o-seizure, let’s think about Gingrich’s chances should he enter the ‘invisible primary.’

As most of you have probably noticed, a couple battleground political states are waging a rather subtle yet important war. Each vying to overtake New Hampshire for the title of ‘first primary,’ preliminary elections are moving closer and closer to the beginning of 2008. I’ve even heard CNN refer to what was known as ‘Super Tuesday’ as ‘Super Duper Tuesday’ (thanks, Wolf…) because the primaries now resemble a sort of national referendum on the candidates.

That effectively leaves Gingrich four months to campaign; a hurdle that underlies the effects of unequal media (in)exposure during the primary process.

And let’s not forget Gingrich’s $30 million challenge. As of June 30, 2007, the top two candidate in terms of fund raising, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, campaigned for nearly $35 million and $33 million, respectively.

In other words, Gingrich hopes to do in three months what the current candidates have been doing for well over six. That’s a little too idealist for me.

I mean, I, like anyone else, want to see a competent man or woman elected to the office of the president in 2008. I, again like the rest of this Web site’s bloggers, hope the person who makes the grade does so fairly and openly with as much discourse as possible. But there is a fine line between idealism and pragmatism. Gingrich should run, but he needs to tone down his expectations if he wants to be successful; expectations are usually the reasons candidates fail. And he has to remember that despite his criticism, the system is what it is. He can hate the present state of political discourse and lambaste the insular primary or donor systems all to the approval of voter applause, but he has to play and rely on the system if he wishes to fix it. Tis the irony of politics.

The political clock is ticking, Newt.

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