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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

The endless presidential campaigns

Whatever else the New Year brings, at least it won’t be a presidential election or any of the primaries, caucuses, or conventions leading up to it. Which is more than OK with me. American presidential campaigns have grown excruciatingly overlong, and I look forward to a respite from the obsessive political coverage, the ginned-up gaffes and controversies, the rush to dissect each twitch in public opinion, the avalanche of dishonest advertising and disingenuous “fact-checking.”

Of course not everyone agrees, especially in the press corps. “We all have our peculiar tastes,” George F. Will once wrote. “Some people like Popsicles. Others like gothic novels. I like politicians.” Peculiar is right. I won’t say I’ve never met a politician I liked — two or three I’ve even admired — but on the whole I tend to agree with Tom Dobbs, the character played by Robin Williams in the 2006 movie “Man of the Year.” A TV entertainer who runs for president on a lark, Dobbs tells his audience: “Politicians are a lot like diapers; they should be changed frequently, and for the same reason.”

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