My experiment with reality television is over.
I am proud that I have never watched a "reality" show for more than a few minutes... until the political debates.
It was fun: we got My BFF, followed by dancing Presidential candidates in Debate the Second. "Who's going to be the President?" got respectable ratings, but they have to refine the product.
I'm thinking sarcastic twits giving feedback throughout the performances. "That was pathetic. If you don't believe it why should I?" Ralph Nader and Bob Barr would have volunteered.
Forget the squiggles (worms to Aussies, I hear), let's have text-messaged votes.
It may seem that I don't take these beauty contests seriously. I don't. In, well, reality, why should I take anyone who hasn't made up their mind seriously? There's too much information if anything, and about distinct positions if you just filter out the polls and pundits.
Not only does Barack Obama seem to have better personal trainers, he's also figured a way to actually make the debates useful: Bring Your Own Ballot parties.
I've signed up for email notifications of his daily Talking Points (John McCain's website didn't give me that option) and one clever idea is Debate Parties. Combine that with early voting and you capture some of those 'real excited but gee I'm kind of busy on election day' voters. Don't sweat about it now, it will be overanalyzed for months after the election.
Gaming the system
There are those 18 ads in video game, of course, targeted at Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado. It's all over the internet, especially tech-savvy sites.
That's probably the point, as one columnist astutely pointed out (I'd give him a shout, but I can't find his column again in all of the noise). A billboard in a racing game goes flying by; you're really not going to see it unless you want to.
The buzz is probably more important, and it still gets at the 18-34 year-olds he's trying to reach with the emphasis on registration and early voting. A smart move/ a lot of them are missed by other advertising and they're supposedly likely to favor him. Still, there's some rage at invading what are, after all, escapist worlds. He's more likely to pull it off than anyone trying it in future election cycles.
I can't be the only one laughing about ACORN News' pushing back the start of the World Series for Obama's half-hour show: "Sorry, John, but this is business."