Jul 5, 2008

Non-stop election excitement!

Things are hotting up. New polls are coming every day. The networks all have 3-hour long marathons of election coverage that begin at 5 or 6pm and let up at 9 or 10pm every evening, with repeats going through until midnight. The press, meanwhile, have dispatched 24-hour reporter pools to cover the candidates' every dash for pizza ("MO and BO flirt. MO hits BO playfully three times in a row...The candidate went inside to change clothes to go to the gym. The pool sat across the street and waited on a wall, later discovered to be covered in fire ants...")

There's only one spanner in the works of this 24-hour, 7-day-a-week electathon: nothing actually seems to be happening.

It's a definite impediment, although not insurmountable. What we have instead is a series of stories hinging on pseudo-outrage from one candidate's surrogates at the not-quite-gaffes uttered by the other candidate's surrogates. The amount of offense-taking is positively Olympian. The latest flap: Obama says he may "refine" his Iraq exit strategy sometime in the next six months or so.

Seeings as its a war and all, and we still have to see out the end of the year before any strategy can even begin to be implemented, this seems like a jolly sensible idea, even an imperative one.

Not so. It is an outrageous "flip flop"! says the McCain campaign. Obama has effected the u-turn to end all u-turns! The man's principles have imploded utterly, leaving nothing but a spineless dark star of anti-mattter and dust! The news media, needless to say, has leapt onto the bandwagon with enthusiasm: How dare he promise to refine his plan! We want him top stick to the exact same plan he came up with six months ago! Who does he think he is, etc etc

The public, meanwhile, looks on, bemused. A recent poll by CNN found that 61% of people found that McCain had changed his mind about something and 59% of people suspected had Obama had changed his mind about something. The same poll also found that 63% of voters have a favorable opinion of Obama and 59% a favorable opinion of McCain. In other words: they couldn't care less. They want a pragmatist.

Happy July 4th, everyone!

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