Previously in Web Citations:
Menace to Society
The hype isn't the most annoying thing about the new Star Wars release.
All Crime, All the Time
An online news site gives the people what they want.
The digital revolution comes to a supermarket near you.
Not Your Father's Antiwar Movement
Are these the new peaceniks? Opposition to Clinton's war has made for some very strange bedfellows.
Someone Who Cares Wants You to Know
As Emily Post might have said, sometimes anonymity is the best policy.
Wheeling and Dealing
It all comes down to this: Would you buy a used (or new) car from these Web sites?
Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) was a filmmaker who kept his distance from Hollywood. His vision appears ever more original -- and lonely.
Wedding planning made so easy even your mother can handle it.
Be Fruitful and Multiply
When it comes to modern reproductive technology, many are turning to the Web for a helping hand.
See the complete Web Citations Index.
June 9, 1999
The conventional wisdom these days has it that the "pre-primary" portion of the presidential-election season is already over. This may well be the case: candidates are finding it important to declare their intentions and to jockey for position earlier and earlier. Although election day isn't exactly around the corner, several campaigns are actually well underway -- to the extent, in fact, that one little-known independent candidate, Matthew Smith, has already taken stock of his chances and decided to put his campaign on hold. "The spirit is still very much alive," he said ruefully in a recent announcement explaining his decision, "[but the] campaign is dormant now, and for some very good reasons." Not least of those reasons is how little time remains before the voting begins: only twenty-five years.
Twenty-five years? That's right: the race is on for the presidency in 2024, and there are already plenty of candidates. Herewith, a brief survey of the field as it currently appears online.
"I'm Noah Detweiler, an 11 year-old Democrat from Lexington, MA. I will be running for President in the year 2024, and I hope I can count on your support."Adam Jones
"My name is Adam Jones and I am a 17 year old Republican from Michigan, and I am running for the Presidency in 2024.... I have been asked how America can trust someone who has been running for the White House since age 10. My question to them is, how can America not?"Timothy Kistner
"I was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 13, 1985. I became actively interested in politics on July 29, 1994, when my family and I were given a private tour of the White House by Mrs. Clinton's private secretary. We were allowed to enter the Oval Office and my younger brother and I were given permission to sit in the President's chair. We had photographs taken."Chris Peek
"Thank you for coming to my Online Campaign! I know the 2024 elections are 25 years away, but I like the old cliché 'The early bird catches the worm.' ... Out of all the jobs I could choose at my age now, why is it being President? Well besides the fact of being the leader of the free world, being President allows me the opportunity to 'right the wrongs', both in America and around the world."Christian Shelton
"I am a 16 year-old Californian Democrat. I hope I can count on your vote in 2024 and be the first Democratic president elected from California! ... Since the age of 8, I have been politically active and have wanted to serve this great nation through the Presidency.... Until the day I reside in the hallowed halls of the White House, or hold an elected position, I will remain Citizen Shelton, or should I say Patriot Shelton."Can these candidates keep up their enthusiasm in the years ahead, as the race for the presidency heats up? Do they have what it takes? Have they entered the race at the right time? Have they, one might indeed ask, fully digested the thoughts posted by Matthew Smith at the time of his withdrawal from the 2024 race? "What happens," Smith wrote,
if I nail down 2024 as a date and then, come 2024, I'm in the state house of Representatives, or in the middle of my first term as governor, or still mired on the city council? Not good places from which to launch a successful presidential campaign.... What if the president elected in 2020 turns out to be the best president this country has ever had? I wouldn't want to unseat such a person.... What if the government goes bankrupt in 2010 and the ensuing collapse causes a class war that plunges the country into anarchy? I'd rather be living in St. Lucia.... And what if I decided not to run at the last minute? That would be a very public humiliation, one I can do without.All in all, it may be too early to tell how things will turn out in 2024. Perhaps it's better just to focus on the 2020 race ...
Join the conversation in Post & Riposte.
More on Technology and Digital Culture in Atlantic Unbound and The Atlantic Monthly.
Toby Lester is the executive editor of Atlantic Unbound.
Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.