Anyone who follows college football and/or basketball is well aware of National Singing Day. For those not privy, it is the FIRST day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent to play at a NCAA member school. Each national signing day has become wildly popular. It generates tremendous interest in the fans, schools, players, and the media. It's a phenomenon.
Now we turn our attention to the field of possible candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Only God can possibly know how many we have at any given time. Let's call it a "baker's dozen." For the first time in decades, the GOP doesn't have a seemingly obvious frontrunner. It's wide open. The general consensus has evolved that, unlike past election cycles , this time it's better to wait to formally announce.
So, some are thinking, some are mulling, some are exploring, some are pondering, some are soul-searching. Let's say they're all "getting ready to get ready.." And, oddly, it appears that nobody wants to be the first one to step up and say "I'm in!"
And it's not the BIG DEAL it used to be. That's the effect that social media is having on politics. Obama announced he was first running in Jan. 2007, in a speech in front of a huge crowd on the State Capital steps in Springfield, Illinois. It was a masterfully staged event. Four years later, he announced that he's running for reelection in a web video. Very low key. ( Actually, he didn't even say it himself..it just sort of floated out there.) No doubt, by 2016, we'll have the first Tweet to kick off a campaign. Someone will do it.
In earlier diaries on Red State, I've been critical of the RNC for allowing the GOP presidential debates to get really out of control, to the extent that they will harm, rather than help, the selection process. Happily, it seems that Reince Preibus reads RS, because soon after it was announced that they are taking steps to streamline, control, and handle the debates. Good for them.
But we really can't have a slew of exploratory-announcements, and then official announcements, of candidacies. It'll get old real fast. Too much noise means that nobody's paying any attention. So, the RNC should emulate the NCAA. We need a NATIONAL DECLARATION DAY for GOP candidates.
Maybe mid July. You know, just like the NFL draft..A big, big party in a central location. Reagan Library, DisneyWorld..anywheres but Washington. All the candidates who wanted to declare on that day would be in attendance, with their spouses, families. Let's say hypothetically that only EIGHT decide to declare that day..the others don't want to. Remember, it's the FIRST day to declare...you can wait longer if you wish. Preibus puts eight campaign buttons in a bag...each with the candidate's name, and pulls out the first.
That guy or gal gets a few minutes of balloons, cheering, music, then a two minute video, then an eight minute speech. Ten minutes for each..maximum. Then on to the next one. Two hours maximum for the whole thing. 8-10pm, or 9-11, I don't know which.
Media coverage would be huge. All the cable nets would have all day coverage, pre and post show commentary. Print journos would love it. Open it up to talk radio and bloggers. It'd generate a big buzz.
It takes a little while to grasp, but the upside is huge. I think ALL the candidates would want to participate. It would also allow the RNC to start to frame the debate..the importance of defeating Obama.
Reince...feel free to call me...