Ahh, 2016 is here at last. And boy do we have a lot to look forward to. Electioneering year round for starters. I have a suggestion that would perhaps resolve this issue, and also help the GOP from their typical dysfunctional nomination process. Currently, as we’re all too well aware, both parties nominate their presidential candidates the year before the election, with the final selection all to often 3-4 months from the actual campaign for the presidency. Surely it would be much better to have something akin to a Leader of the Opposition. Much like you get in the UK. This is how it would work.
The losing side in the presidential election would start the nomination process the same year that the new president is sworn in. It could take as long as it does today. Perhaps a year or even longer. But there is a defined end date. This would give the nominee more than two years to define an opposition plan, and the party involved time to coalesce around their new leader. He or she would be the mouthpiece of the party and would have time to test out any ideas. More importantly, any embarrassing gaffs by the candidates would be long forgotten. Think of Trump after two years out of the limelight for example. What a relief that would be!