Monday, February 4, 2008

Who Moved My Candidate?

Dartmouth Debates

HANOVER, NH - SEPTEMBER 26: Democratic Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appear with unidentifed bystanders.

My candidate was John Edwards, so the answer to my question is obvious. The press, and network news in particular, ignored Edwards right out of the race. As I look back on their performance, I’ll always cherish, in particular, two memories of Edwards’ press coverage. The first occurred after the Iowa caucus where Edwards placed second. The news commentators mentioned briefly that he was second and then moved quickly on to the real story: an analysis of the contest between Obama and Clinton. The second magic moment was just after the debate preceding the critical New Hampshire primary. Commentators mentioned briefly that Edwards seemed to have the best and most moving performance in the debate, and then moved quickly on to the real story: an analysis of the contest between Obama and Clinton. I’m not talking about FOX news here either. The major networks consistently ignored Edwards, and even most PBS programs seemed to fall into lockstep with this agenda. And I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb when I say that it’s harder to get votes when the television news organizations don’t seem to notice you’re in the race.

However, since I still believe that this election is of major importance to the future of our country, I need to pick some other candidate to back for president now that Edwards has dropped out. I realize this announcement will send many campaign organizations scurrying to hustle my support, but just to let them know: I won’t send off my $25 contributions or cast my pointless vote in the Oregon primary or the general election for just anyone. It will be a tough call to make, since I like all the remaining major candidates.

So how to decide? Since I’m a Democrat, I’ll need to pick between Obama and Clinton before the primary, but for the final election I’ll consider the Republican candidates too. That leaves a lot of candidates to choose from. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Time permitting, I would like to eventually write some more about the Missing Candidates on both sides. I want to discuss Edwards’ candidacy some more, and also people like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (if Edwards was ignored by the press, Kucinich was brutalized and buried by them). The race won’t be the same without the Missing, although the TV news, predictably, barely noticed they’re gone. Since you won’t hear it from a network news show, I’ll state the obvious. What’s missing along with them is our right as voters to pick the candidates who go on to the final primaries. Does anyone really think the press is qualified to decide for us?

1 comment:

Mongol Horde said...

Hi Flo-

We thought that Senator Edwards was tainted by the experience of your 2004 contest. We had heard (we think on your FOX News network, which we love, by the way) that Senator Edwards couldn’t be taken seriously because, once a candidate has been on a losing ticket, he carries a stigma. Apparently, he should just be off riding his pony across the steppes.

Best regards,

The Horde