I’m fairly politically aware — even my interests are more in local policy than national — and have been involved in government and campaigning in the past. But, like most Americans, I have an excuse.
I spend most of the time leading up to an election pondering the journalism around it, listening and debating both sides — in short, seeing the election through my own prism (in my case, that means something of a balanced journalist).
It helped that John McCain wasn’t running as John McCain. Growing up as a McCain fan and trained to support defensible nonpartisanship, I can report that I do believe Obama-Biden was the better choice for American progress than McCain-Palin. It became easy for me — even if it is uncomfortable to discuss political decisions as a journalist — to vote for Obama.
Similarly, unfairly, unjustly untruly or not, it seemed the media – particularly in Europe, from my experience – wanted Barack Obama in the office. That is perceived as a liberal bias in journalism but McCain made it easier with a Vice Presidential pick. Journalists should be wary of being perceived as being “for” a candidate.
Still, Obama confronts outlandish expectations for a new president. He has already been anointed as part of a great achievement of American freedom. As a supporter of the U.S. presidency, I hope he can do it. But he has to exceed the level of excitement around him that prompted one supporter to tell a CNN TV camera: “you hear about people seeing Ghandi and Martin Luther King…”
“Pennsylvania is generally and typically a battleground state. Democrats have done well but absolutely can’t take it for granted,” said Steve Hildebrand, the national deputy Obama campaign manager. Aside from Florida, he added, Pennsylvania has the largest number of electoral votes that the campaigns are considering real battlegrounds.
If you’re registered in Philadelphia and need to know where you’re voting, using the Committee of Seventy’s Citizen Access Center. Oh, and if you’re an Independent or Republican and feeling bummed out ’cause everyone is talking Obama/Hillary, fear not, in Philadelphia, there are also two ballot questions that mean a whole lot to some people. Want a real explanation of what to do?
David Brooks took on Sen. Barack Obama, how the man had been raised on high as the messiah of U.S. politics and is now struggling with those unfair expectations.
See, Republicans are more known for quick primaries and getting behind a unified candidate, as has played out with Sen. John McCain. Now, McCain is sitting back, raising money and preparing for a general election, though some think it leaves the candidate less competitive.
On the other hand, big tent Democrat politics are more open to larger, longer and more competitive primaries. The thought is it sharpens the candidate, but, as Brooks wrote, this may be an exception.