It's Not Over, Period

Even Yogi Berra would change his tune with our political campaigning system.

Even non-baseball fans are familiar with the most famous saying of former New York Yankee catcher and manager, Yogi Berra: "It's not over until it's over". (Yogi must have loved the outcome of a couple of the pennant races this past week.)

The problem is, when it comes to political campaigning, it's never over. When one ends, another seems to begin.

Nowhere is that true than in the recent elections in West Virginia.

One campaign will end Tuesday, when the votes come in on the special gubernatorial election, which has generated more garbage in campaign ads than the trash man picks up in my apartment complex on Monday morning.

But you can bet that, whatever the outcome, the unofficial campaigning will begin soon after for 2012, when candidates will be running for the new term for both governor and the U.S. Senate.

You see, when Joe Manchin was elected to the Senate last year, it was for the unexpired term of the late Robert C. Byrd, which ends after this coming year.  The same is true for whoever wins the governor's mansion on Tuesday.

There isn't anyone who would bet against Manchin running for re-election, as will be the case for either Earl Ray Tomblin or Bill Maloney. But there also isn't anyone who will bet against whoever their opponents (or their opponents' supporters) running a knock-down-drag-out campaign to unseat them.

Of course, one must add to that the presidential campaign, which has been going full tilt all year. Even President Obama has sounded lately like he is running for re-election, with his speeches supporting his jobs bill sounding like campaign speeches. And the Democratic party has been running TV ads promoting that bill.

The last four years have been an endless cycle of political campaigns, charges and counter-charges, and advertising which continues to be an abomination (a disclaimer: I am perfectly aware WTAP runs most of these ads, and at least some of the money spent on those ads ends up in our pockets).

Or to use another phrase Yogi Berra made famous, "It's Deja Vu, All Over Again!" 

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