The 2016 Presidential Campaign Has Begun, God Help Us All
The 2012 presidential campaign was a series of gruesome sideshows that lasted two years and made everyone unhappy. Americans thought the campaign had gone on too long and wanted it to end… in 2011, even before any Republican primaries had been held. Horse race–style stories documenting the minutiae of day-to-day campaigning and polls and microscandals out filled cable news and every political corner of the internet and were obsolete by the time The Daily Show got around to making fun of them. None of it mattered. Mitt Romney was the frontrunner in early 2011 and he won the nomination only to lose fairly badly to Barack Obama—an outcome you could have predicted without reading or watching any of the thousands of news items that accompanied the campaign.
Then it was over, and we were treated to some months of relative peace and quiet. Congress was busy finding new ways to not do anything. The 2014 midterms were coming up if you were really an election junkie. There was some speculation about who was going to run for president—definitely Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, and Chris Christie; probably Joe Biden, Jeb Bush, and Bobby Jindal—and no doubt there was a bunch of behind-the-scenes fundraising and conversations between political professionals going on, but it was out of the public eye, because c’mon, who would start campaigning for real more than three years before an election?