Dear Commons Community,
The Huffington Post is reporting that TV viewership for last week’s Republican National Convention dropped sharply from 2008, suggesting interest in this presidential race falls short of some past contests. But the convention was a hit online and on social networks, the latest evidence of the political conversation’s gradual migration from traditional media to the Web.
“The Nielsen Co. estimates that about 30.3 million viewers across 11 television networks watched convention coverage Thursday night when Mitt Romney delivered his prime-time speech accepting the GOP presidential nomination. That’s a 23 percent plunge from the same night four years ago when nearly 39 million people tuned in to watch then-GOP nominee John McCain address the convention and the nation.
The erosion of TV viewership from 2008 was sharper still on Wednesday night when Romney running mate Paul Ryan drew about 22 million viewers for his acceptance speech. That’s a 41 percent drop from 2008 when some 37 million tuned in for vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin’s debut on the national stage.
The Republican convention drew an older audience on TV. Of the 22 million who watched Ann Romney speak on Tuesday night, Nielsen found that nearly 15 million were 55 or older. Only 1.5 million were age 18-34.”
It will be interesting to see how the Democrats do this week!!
Dear Commons Community,
Joe Bruni in his New York Times column, reviews the downside of being a vice presidential nominee. He advises anyone seriously considering a political career, to “run for the hills at any offer to be a party’s “veep” nominee”.
“The veep nod befouls everything. It’s a cruel pivot. One minute, you’re a largely respected, minimally dissected public servant sitting on some harmless commission or tending to some humdrum state. The next, you’re attaching gratuitous vowels to unsuspecting carbohydrates (Dan Quayle), spraying your septuagenarian hunting buddy with birdshot (Dick Cheney), espying Vladimir Putin’s reared head in the Alaskan airspace (Sarah Palin) or suffering delusions of marathon grandeur (Ryan). While the veep nod is only occasionally a springboard to the presidency, it’s almost always a trapdoor to mortification…
Look at Ryan. Mere weeks ago, he was as close to a matinee idol as a House Budget Committee could hope to produce, his crush on Ayn Rand noted in passing but his wonky earnestness taken on faith. Now he’s a veritable poster boy for hyperbole and hypocrisy, his record and words generating fresh headlines almost daily…
Look at that residence’s current occupant, Joe Biden. Before he was visited by the giddy dream of the vice presidency, his habit of unfiltered utterances was considered endearing. Afterward, he was deemed “a clownish gasbag” and “a human I.E.D.,” to cite two phrases from this week’s cover story on him in New York magazine”
Bruni’s conclusion :
“The role of running mate is a curse masquerading as a compliment, a hex in red, white and blue drag. Taking it on represents the triumph of hope over Thomas Eagleton, Spiro Agnew and the words of Daniel Webster, who reputedly turned down the assignment in the mid-1800s with this explanation: “I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin.”