November is depressing enough with its raw winds, sleet and snow. Now to have it officially mark one more year of presidential campaigning makes it an unbearable month.

November is depressing enough with its raw winds, sleet and snow. Now to have it officially mark one more year of presidential campaigning makes it an unbearable month.


Just think, 52 more weeks of political debates during which candidates will “refine” and “restate” their messages. It could be a year of “new” jobs plans, economic recovery plans, health care plans, deep sea oil drilling plans, taxation reform plans, Social Security plans, Medicare plans, monetary policy plans, and Mideast peace plans.


It could also mean an absurdly early time for caucuses (binding and nonbinding), primaries, polls, punditry and pratfalls. It gives politicians a full year to fumble, reinvent themselves, repackage themselves, rerun “new” campaign strategies.


Some politicians thrive in the campaign but seem to falter when elected. The campaign is a world filled with blue skies and promises. A presidency is a time to pay bills and deliver.


No wonder some politicians would rather campaign than try to govern. That’s why their language becomes so general and imprecise. Can you imagine if they had to quantify their promises?


“I promise to reduce unemployment to 6 percent nine months after I am elected.” Only a fanatic would set measurable goals. That’s why we will hear words like economic recovery, less unemployment, a fair health care system. These are open to interpretation and reinterpretation.


During the campaign year, the phenomenon known as the vice presidency will occur. The non-incumbent will name a running mate. It used to be that the VP had a political background and life experience that were approximately equivalent to the presidential candidate. The idea was that if something untoward were to happen to the president, the vice president would assume the role seamlessly.


Some critics claim that a VP candidate now is either an extraterrestrial or in the witness protection program. The shock and awe derived from naming a VP can fuel and redirect a heretofore faltering campaign.


Then there will be the “crucial” debates. The incumbent is expected to win these hands down.


Moreover, commentators will describe the last 14 speeches the incumbent gives as the “most important” of his life.


In the end, we will have to slog our way through a winter, spring, summer and fall before we can even select someone and his/hers bag of promises.


Most voters have attention spans as long as beer commercials. Even so, a 30-second beer commercial has to be filled with dramatic animation, supermodels and rock music before a viewer flatlines. Voters will have forgotten the plans and promises, even some of the candidates. It will be truly a year of living dangerously.


Peter Costa is a columnist for GateHouse Media. His latest book of humor is “Outrageous CostaLiving: Still Laughing Through Life,” which is available at amazon.com.