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OLYMPIA — If you can remember when March of the year before a presidential election was way too early to be talking about the field of candidates with designs on the White House, you're probably old enough to remember when television was mostly black and white and national television news was dominated by three networks with avuncular anchormen.
Now the horse race for the next presidential election starts the day after the votes are counted in the last election, fed by the need for 24-hour news networks and online news&views sites to generate content. It also keeps the publishing houses busy, because any candidate worth his or her salt must prove gravitas by writing a book that can be purchased by the pundits, who then discuss the book and its critics, the candidates response to the critics, the critics response to the criticisim of their critiques…
Spin Control is reluctant to get into discussion of the 2012 presidential race quite so soon, but did recently receive a press release from a Washington state man announcing his plans to run.
Don Hansler of Spanaway said he will be the nominee of the Common Sense Party, providing, of course that he can muster the people needed to constitute an independent third party of that name, hold a national convention in Tacoma next July and get on the ballot in 50 states.
So is Hansler, a retired Bellevue math and science teacher, delusional? No, although he allows "I might sound like a kook to most people. My chances of getting elected president are not zero, but they're probably pretty close to zero."
So why send out a press release announcing the campaign? in part it's a way of generating interest in his book, "Rescuing America", in which he discusses 10 problems facing America and how to fix them. Aha, you say, another scheme to generate profits for the publishing houses.
Ask him about a platform or a way to solve any of the nation's problems, he replies: "Read my book." That may sound like a publishing ploy, but Hansler's book is self-published, and he's only asking $7.24 to cover printing and shipping, so no one's getting rich off this one.
"I'm my own campaign chairman and my own treasurer," Hansler said. But he's not a complete political novice. He ran for governor in the 2004 primary, and for superintendent of public instruction in the 2008 primary. Didn't make the cut either time.
If his third-party presidential candidacy doesn't gel by next summer, he's drop that plan and run again for SPI, which would be OK with him because education issues are really his main thing.
For information about the book, go inside the blog.