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Blogged Down By Politics

We're now at T-minus 14 days to the election. Getting much work done?

Nah, me neither.

I've noted before how the Web enables us to pursue any interest, no matter how picayune, to an absurd degree. If you like to whittle bars of soap into sculptures of baby animals in your spare time, it's a safe bet that at least one blog, mailing list and discussion forum await your attention online.

Presidential elections take this phenomenon to its logical extreme. For this one in particular, you could easily do nothing else during your waking moments but read site after site reporting, discussing and arguing over whether Barack Obama or John McCain will -- among other things -- win the right to throw out the first pitch at the Nationals' home opener on April 13.

I'm as guilty as anybody of spending too many of my own processor cycles keeping up with the news -- though I like to tell myself that other people have gotten sucked in far worse. For example, a friend of mine started volunteering for the McCain campaign last month, and now he can't seem to go more than 10 minutes without chattering about the election.

(True, we at The Post are happy to contribute to the problem, between the stories you can read in print, blogs like The Trail, The Fix and Political Browser and other daily updates like our new tracking poll.)

Two weeks from now, we should be able to go back to our normal lives. In the meantime, would you like to hazard a guess about the bandwidth you're soaking up as you follow this electoral season? Be honest: How many times a day do you click over to The Corner or Power Line? Have Daily Kos and Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish become more like hourly preoccupations? Is FiveThirtyEight only a Web site's name, or does that also describe the number of times you've visited it over the last month?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  October 21, 2008; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Digital culture , The Web  
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Last month when a citizen asked Palin about Pakistan – she ended up contradicting McCain’s position on the same issue.
How did McCain reconcile this discrepancy? – He claimed that the citizen’s question was a “gotcha question”

Now he is evoking ‘Joe the plumber’ daily.
This guy Joe told Obama that he is planning to buy a 250K – 280K businesses (just over Obama’s tax cut-off… how co-incidental?). It now turns out that this guy is nowhere near buying any businesses and he only earns 40K – thus would be getting a TAX-CUT under Obama plan!!! If anything Joe’s question was a well set-up ‘gotcha question’ just to put Obama on the defensive and make him uncomfortable. Obama knew this guy will not vote for him but still spent 6 minutes explaining his situation (Compare this to McCain’s/Palin’s response when confronted by a non-supporter – He will call the person “un-American”, “not real American”, “communists” and what not)
We know McCain will never acknowledge that Joe’s question was the real ‘gotcha question’!! He will continue raking-up ‘Joe the plumber’ for next 2 weeks like what he done since last Wed.

Obama is much classier than McCain… at least he doesn’t whine and blame others when caught in a spot… he takes responsibility for his and his campaign’s action/words. McCain will blame his follies on someone else – “gotcha journalism”, “gotcha question”, “liberal media”, “partisan legislature” etc…

Posted by: chill | October 21, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Rob, putting all of those tempting links in your blog post about wasting time -- that's just mean.

Posted by: Doug | October 21, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Since I'm currently unemployed I have lots of time to hit up the blogs.

The Atlantic has a good collection, as does

And the Post, of course.

Dave Barry's blog is fun.

Posted by: wiredog | October 21, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wiredog - I agree, Dave Barry has the best blog on the web. I spend way to much time obsessing over the election - but as I'm unemployed,too, what else can one do while waiting for the phone to ring?

Posted by: Lofti | October 21, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse is a brilliant site -- I'm a political junkie and have been checking it several times daily.

I also recommend, which lets you run simulations of the Presidential election, based on the most recent polls in each state.

And two podcasts whoch deserve checking out: Slate's "Political Gabfest" and NPR's "It's All Politcs."

Posted by: NathanIrwin | October 22, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I notice that John Kelly's blog requires you to be signed in to post, and automatically puts you username in.

Any chance of doing that in other Post blogs? Might limit the off-toopic spam like the first comment in this blog.

Posted by: wiredog | October 22, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@wiredog: That's exactly what we have planned; as I understand it, by the end of this week or soon after, you'll have to sign in to post a comment on any of the blogs herre. (Not that it would block the first comment in this thread; the guy is, in fact, talking about political news.)

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | October 22, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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