Editor tired of political ‘race’, media

Amber Englebert - Copy Editor

Amber Englebert – Copy Editor

Amber Englebert

I follow politics like some people follow sports. For the past nine months or more I have consumed every bit of information about this presidential race that I could get my hands on.

Like some crazy NASCAR enthusiast, I’ve followed poll-point stats, checked out the top runners for each team, and watched as each candidate streamlined his political vehicle. Now, before I go all George F. Will and start comparing all life with a single sport, I’ll say one thing: I’m becoming fatigued.

I think I realized that I’m coming to the end of my political rope when I saw this week’s cover for Newsweek. There is a whole feature on New York mayor Michael Bloomburg. Though Bloomberg isn’t running for president, and has denied planning for a campaign, the story’s focus is what would Bloomberg’s political positions be if he did run? What kind of story is that? With eight candidates in the Democratic pool and nine in the Republican Party fighting it out, is there not enough newsworthy information out there without speculation about non-candidates like Bloomburg or endless will-he/won’t-he debates about Al Gore?

Of course, this is a huge presidential race. After the presidency of George W. Bush, it’s as if every major player from both sides of the political spectrum is champing at the bit to prove they can leave a better legacy than this current administration. I suppose I shouldn’t blame the media for covering this presidential campaign with the same fervor that they cover the drugged-out deaths of Hollywood starlettes.

But after a year’s worth of coverage before last year’s mid-term elections and nearly another year of covering the finest details of various presidential campaigns, I’m coming to the conclusion that the media is running out of things to say. How did Barack Obama removing a pin of the American flag from his lapel make the news? What is so important about Rudy Guliani giving props to the Red Sox when he’s followed the Yankees all his life? What does any of that have to do with health care or social security or, lest we forget it, the war in Iraq?

Of course, we are in the dull, middling stage of the presidential race. Everyone is running in a stasis right now, and probably no big news will occur before the Iowa caucuses this January. My dad, who is an avid NASCAR fan and a frequent napper between laps 50 and 350, says that the best parts of the race are the first five minutes and the last five minutes. I think I’ll follow his lead, kick back and let my eyes glaze over for a while.