so soon? way too soon! -and campaign finance reform
At this stage, all we really know about people like Obama is based on style, not substance. (I happen to think style can be important - a person's bearing can influence whether she/he is going to be taken seriously as a leader.) With other candidates, we may be too blinded by their style (Hillary's abrasiveness, for example) to hear the substance. Others might be all substance (Biden) and no discernable style at all. We might never know.
Maybe I'm just a policy wonk, but I'd rather read position papers and archives of each candidate's career than see them stumping already. Stumping requires money. Money requires donors. Donors require compensation. More than anything else, this mad sequence perverts the democratic process - in my opinion - by forcing candidates into servitude to the kinds of special interests with the money to tempt them - or control them.
It should not cost hundreds of millions of dollars to become the president of the most powerful nation on earth. I've heard the argument that donating money to candidates is an expression of free speech - the First Amendment. Thus, my dilemma. Thus, this nation's dilemma.
What can we do?