From yesterday's Miami Herald: "Take a look at the failure of government to tackle the problems this nation confronts and then consider the way presidential elections are financed. Honk if you see a connection." The editorial cuts right to the point which is that, standard grousing about insincere campaigning aside, the way politicians seek office fundamentally impairs their ability to respond to the needs of the average voter. And it's only getting worse.
Even if you take for granted that most politicians seek office to serve the public, the reality is that to be a competitive presidential candidate you have to sacrifice and substantive contact with that public to shore up the money you need to prove your bona fides. And pity the candidate without the Midas Touch:
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has already been pushed out of the race due to out-of-control spending by his opponents. Meanwhile, candidates forced to devote more time to raising money from fat-cat donors and special interests have less time to talk to average voters - and, more important, listen to them.
Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent visit to South Florida was typical of what happens in this monumental money chase. Staged public events devoid of content are coupled with closed-door private events where a select few have the privilege of mingling with the candidate in exchange for opening their wallets. This is what passes for a campaign.