Welcome, my dear readers, to the beginning of the 2016 presidential race!
As a way of introduction, we all know that the gold standard for welcomes come from Lumiere (the candelabra in Beauty and The Beast) for "Be Our Guest" and M. Thenardier in Les Miserables for "Master of the House."
So how should I welcome you -- as a French candelabra or an impish innkeeper?
The choice is easy -- every little kid grows up wanting to be a candelabra (right behind astronaut and fullback), so please, indulge and let me be your candelabra as we grope through the twisting darkness that is the looming 2016 presidential race.
Along the way, we'll ask whether Rick Santorum and Elizabeth Warren are really the same thing (they kind of are, even though they occupy different spaces on the ideological spectrum), whether Jeb Bush is overrated or actually the future of the GOP, whether Hillary Clinton can really clear the field with a simple wave of her hand, and last but not least, we'll indulge in early polls, oh, how we'll indulge in early polls -- even if they're just reflections of name ID.
Unlike 2012, we have primary races on both the Republican and Democratic sides in 2016, and I'll be writing about both parties, while hovering over them in a hot air balloon, dropping truth bombs on the battlefield but only from on high, so I can't get hurt.
I hope that you'll trust me to treat both sides and candidates as fairly as I can, and that you'll hold me accountable when I don't. Just no death threats, please. I've grown fond of life the past few years, and much of that has to do with my wife who's generously giving me the opportunity to try to prove that a 2016 blog can work in January of 2013 (thanks, baby!).
Now... before we start, a few ground-rules.
a. Twitter has changed blogging and will shape Prez16.
If you're reading this site, it's probably because you're a political junkie, and if you're a junkie, you're on Twitter and you're getting your political news faster than a blog can deliver.
Thus, there's no way Prez16 can do what Twitter does. A Christmas tree can't grow tomatoes.
So while Prez16 will still give you some cool minutia, it'll be packaged a bit differently.
b. Expect fewer posts, but they'll be longer.
What Twitter can't do is provide context, deep analysis, and indulgent conversation.
Prez16 will try to do that -- there'll be fewer posts/day than on my previous presidential site, GOP12 (a site that tracked the 2012 Republican presidential race), but they'll be longer and, hopefully, more interesting.
Interaction was woeful on GOP12, in part because I closed and reopened comments every fifteen minutes. That's because people would occasionally post lurid images, and I couldn't moderate 24/7.
So we've got Facebook comment forms for you to use this time, and hopefully that will cut down on the salaciousness. Also, please like Prez16 on Facebook now and email me if you've got questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
d. Sit back, relax, and put your tray table in its upright position.
This is going to be fun. Of course, whenever someone starts something new and challenging, they're obligated to say it's "going to be fun".
But I'm not crying wolf, and I hope you won't cry foul, and I hope we'll see each other on the other side of 2016, having lived through all this together for four years (that's not about death; it's a metaphor about Prez16).
With that, happy reading, and let's get started.
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