Chuck Todd is treating the Super Tuesday presidential primaries as if they're the Super Bowl, and that it's just a game, and that the ideas promoted by candidates don't matter, except inasmuch as they help a candidate win.
The headline was the first thing that struck me as off-target: “So many questions, so little time”. The article was about the 2008 presidential election. Reading that headline, I thought, it’s been over a year since the current presidential candidates declared their intention to run. Who hasn’t had the opportunity to consider questions about the qualifications and agendas of the candidates?
Oh, but that’s not what the writer, NBC News political editor Chuck Todd, was talking about. On the eve of Super Tuesday, Chuck Todd is in no mood to talk about substance. Here are the questions Todd had on his mind:
- Is Hillary Clinton perceived as the defacto incumbent in this race?
- What will have a greater impact on viewers Tuesday night? The dead even delegate fight between Clinton and Obama? Or the potential for one Dem to win a plurality of states by 52-48 while still splitting the delegates evenly?
- What if Obama wins California narrowly plus a bunch of other swing states but trails in the delegate count by, say, 50? Will the media treat Obama as the winner of Super Tuesday because of an upset California win? Or what if Clinton wins a majority of states, including California, Missouri and Arizona but the delegate count is basically even (another likely outcome)? Will Clinton be treated as the winner?
- The question is, who will come out on top?
- In how many states will John McCain break the 50 percent threshold and should that matter?
- How valuable will Mike Huckabee be for McCain?
- What about Obama’s percentage in New York vs. Clinton’s percentage in Illinois?
- Could Obama net a greater share of delegates out of Illinois than Clinton does out of New York?
- Assuming he believes he’s the presumptive nominee after Tuesday night (and he needs a victory in California to lay claim to that title), how will he begin to position himself for the general election?
- Will he continue to try to make the case to conservatives that he’ll look out for their best interests or will he start to make an appeal to the middle?
- And at what point does McCain pick his Democratic foe? Will McCain’s camp attempt to influence the other primary and if so, how?
What a boring, insipid bunch of questions.
Chuck Todd is treating the Super Tuesday presidential primaries as if they’re the Super Bowl, and that it’s just a game, and that the ideas promoted by candidates don’t matter, except inasmuch as they help a candidate win.
You’d think that the political editor for NBC News would have more on his mind than who wins. You’d think he’d be able to keep in mind what politics means, and consider the likely impacts of the candidates’ proposed policies.
You would think that, if you didn’t know how NBC News and the rest of the mainstream news media work. The last thing they want to do is encourage their viewers to think about things of substance… that might cause them to ignore the commercials.