Thursday, May 08, 2008

Is It Such a Bad Thing? .....

More than one observer of national political news has commented on whether or not the Democrats have already lost the 2008 presidential race through an extended and possibly-divisive primary campaign.

Me? I can't say whether they have or they haven't ..... I'll be able to say better on November 5 ..... or later, if the State of Florida disagrees with the results this time around.

But I do find myself wondering if an extended campaign - one that might go all the way to the convention before it's resolved - is necessarily a bad thing. In my own humble and uninformed opinion, I would say it's a good thing, at least from a news journalist's perspective. And in the long run, it might be good for news consumers, as well.

In recent years, political parties have bemoaned the fact that news networks don't devote the time to convention coverage that they once did. It's true, they don't ..... though not necessarily for the same reason suggested by the party leadership. There's nothing like an early, quiet end to the primary campaign to take away just about any news value to the convention ..... 'So-And-So' has officially received the party's nomination for president? ..... well, duh ..... wasn't that settled, for all intents and purposes, in April?

A decision early in the primary campaign means that, by the time the national convention comes along, all we are left with is essentially a week-long un-paid political announcement, carefully crafted and scripted for news consumers ..... a PR sheep in news wolf's clothing.

It hasn't always been that way ..... you don't have to be as old as me to remember when the national convention could easily become a rough-and-tumble, raucous affair where the candidate, and planks of the party's platform were yet to be settled. "Ohio passes," anyone?

So, as far as I'm concerned, go ahead and let Obama and Clinton continue to duke-it-out right up to the convention. It may be a bad thing for the Democratic Party leadership ..... then again, maybe it won't.

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