Unconventional

  • Follow Editorials

It's the first truly open presidential election -- no president or vice president in the mix -- in about 80 years.

So there was bound to be more interest than usual in the major party conventions coming up in about a month.

But with a tight presidential race, following a nearly yearlong, hard-fought primary, reporters and TV networks are much more energized than in years past, when they would heave a collective sigh around convention time.

"In 1996," says former ABC newsman Ted Koppel, "I walked out of the Republican convention in San Diego, pointing out that it was really nothing much more than a picture show and there wasn't any news happening. I don't think anyone can make that observation about this year.

"This has been one of the most remarkable political years we've ever seen. And even though we know who the candidates are going to be, I still think there will be news coming out of both the Democratic and Republican conventions."

Much of the excitement, it must be said, is due to Barack Obama.

His celebrity appeal, and the historic nature of his candidacy, have caught the world's attention. Many months before his recent speech in front of a throng of 200,000 in Berlin, back when the Democratic nomination seemed to belong to Hillary Clinton, a film crew from Italy prowled the crowd at the Democratic debate in Orangeburg, S.C., to find out what people thought -- about Barack Obama.

The Obama mania gets awfully silly at times. The Chicago Tribune reported that an attendee at the recent UNITY '08 minority journalists confab in Chicago shrieked "He touched me!" How utterly unprofessional.

But there is no disputing that Obama has created more excitement for the conventions than we've seen in awhile. In fact, his acceptance speech will take place Aug. 28 in 76,000-seat Invesco Stadium in Denver.

John McCain and the Republicans will have their work cut out for them in trying to compete with Obama's sizzle at their own convention Sept. 1-4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

For a change, it should be interesting.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 08/02/08 - 05:35 am
0
0
Alice Cooper drew large

Alice Cooper drew large crowds for years. Let's get past the celebrity part of the campaign and get down to issues.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 08/02/08 - 07:37 am
0
0
It's funny that the latest

It's funny that the latest talking point against Obama is "celebrity". Apparently it's worse to be coined a celebrity than Socialist (since the vast majority of Americans didn't fall for that one). So much so that the McCain camp scrubbed their website of their own references of calling McCain a "political celebrity". Just the latest smear from a desperate campaign.

dani
13
Points
dani 08/02/08 - 10:36 am
0
0
Sig.."Which desperate

Sig.."Which desperate campaign" ? Obama seems to be enjoying his celebrity status, (so much so that the AA talking heads are criticizing him for not speaking up for "his people"). Note the quote marks. The last poll numbers I read the two men were about even so I don't think either are desperate yet. I did notice though that the Obama campaign is trying to do to MCCain the same as it did to Bill & Hillary by playing the race card against him/them.

jack
10
Points
jack 08/02/08 - 05:33 pm
0
0
Sigraci, I realize there are

Sigraci, I realize there are things just beyond your grasp. The use of either celebrity or Marxist fit Osama to a tee. Now. let's quit giving free concerts to draw the crowds for Osama and get down to face to face debate on the issues. Still waiting for his appearance on O'Reilly's program as he said he would do and Hitler did, to her credit.

jack
10
Points
jack 08/02/08 - 05:35 pm
0
0
Sigraci, I realize there are

Sigraci, I realize there are things just beyond your grasp. The use of either celebrity or Marxist fit Osama to a tee. Now. let's quit giving free concerts to draw the crowds for Osama and get down to face to face debate on the issues. Still waiting for his appearance on O'Reilly's program as he said he would do and Hitler did, to her credit. Cappi, the race card will turn off more blue collar workers than Osama can imagine. Already started according to the latest poll results.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs