Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Political time allocation

NBC News analyst Chuck Todd made a fascinating point tonight just before his network signed off of their presidential debate coverage. He said something to the effect of what a whirlwind the campaign had felt like to him. It has only been sixty or so days since the end of the two major party's conventions. He then contrasted that with the eighteen months spent on the primary campaigns and sighed, "What a waste."

The Clarion couldn't agree more. How could the system be gamed so that we saw eighteen months of Hillary Clinton v. Barack Obama and nearly as much of Mitt Romney v. John McCain? Tonight Clinton and Romney were their party's seconds. They were offered and accepted invitations to speak on NBC News coverage after the debate. They were both solidly on message. But to Chuck Todd's point the country spent eighteen long months dissecting Senator Clinton v. Senator Obama and tonight, two weeks before the big decision, she merited a three minute interview, likewise for Governor Romney. There were months of coverage for a person who tonight was a non-entity, whereas the country has known who the full tickets would be for the major parties for barely two months. Obama and Clinton debated twenty plus times, McCain and Romney debated sixteen times, Obama and McCain three times.

This foolish primary system has to be fixed.

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