Mere hours after the Democrats victory in November's general election, the talking heads were already asking the question: How do these results affect the 2008 presidential election?
It seemed a waste of time because it is ridiculous to speculate what would happen in the course of two whole years when there are more pressing problems, such as the Iraq war and needed domestic reforms.
Since then, however, seemingly dozens of candidates have tossed their hats into the wide open race wide open because neither a sitting president nor vice president will be seeking his party's nomination. One can barely open a newspaper or listen to a news broadcast without being bombarded with pictures of Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama and in-depth articles about how race/gender/organization X feels about each potential candidate.
It's nice that so many people want to serve the country in the highest ranking job but what about the jobs they were JUST ELECTED TO?
While the 2008 presidential election will undoubtedly be a very crucial one, the attention of the public, media and the leaders themselves has been diverted from actually governing literally weeks after an election in which voters clearly signaled they wanted a change in the country's direction now, not in two years.
More discouraging still is that most potential presidents actually are in a position to influence the country right now, most members of the House or Senate. But instead of rolling up their sleeves and focusing completely on the problems facing America, they are putting together exploratory committees and campaign staffs, raising money and studying focus group results.
In the meantime, there's still no plan to leave Iraq, fix Social Security, reform Medicare or move the country away from foreign oil, just to name a few of the mounting concerns facing the nation. If these candidates wanted to truly serve the American people they would spend more time governing and less time talking about governing two years from now.