Many Americans say they are fed with up the relentless, bitter partisanship that runs rampant in political campaigns in this highly-contentious, seemingly non-stop Presidential election year.
They aren’t alone. Reporters, photographers, videographers and bloggers on the campaign trail say they’re tired as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore.
Writes Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for New York Times Magazine:
This spring, for the first time since I started writing about politics a decade ago, I found myself completely depressed by a campaign. “How am I ever going to get through it?” is not the question you want to be asking yourself as you enter what are supposed to be the pinnacle few months of your profession.
He’s not alone. Reporters on the campaign trail tell Capitol Hill Blue that the fun has gone out of covering what used to be the Greatest Political Show on Earth.
“It’s a never ending, around-the-clock grind driven by an unforgiving 24-hour news cycle dominating by spin, partisan blogs and media manipulators,” complains free-lance writer Cal Rogers, who said this is his last campaign.
Walter Shapiro is covering his ninth presidential campaign.
“This is worse than normal, a lot less fun,” he tells Politico.
Former New York Post reporter Maggie Haberman, covering the 2012 race for Politico, says:
People are feeling grateful that it’s almost over. There has been this ongoing lack of enthusiasm. Neither side seems to be enjoying this race — not the Democrats or the Republicans, and not the reporters.
Capitol Hill Blue publisher Doug Thompson, who covered several presidential races as a newspaper reporter and worked as a media consultant in the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign, says the joylessness is a reflection of the national mood:
We see too much anger, too much bitterness, too much despair — not only in politics but also in the American psyche. People look at those seeking elected office and ask: “Is that all there is.” Reporters follow the candidates around and realize there is no substance in the national dialog, just a drone of shallowness and partisan hyperbole.
Thompson missed last week’s Republican convention when his mother died just as the GOP confab began. On Monday, he decided to skip the Democratic convention in Charlotte, just a 9-minute drive from his home in the Southwestern Virginia mountains.
I’m going to climb on my Harley-Davidson, ride the open-road, and go in search of America. It’s out there somewhere. It’s not in Charlotte, it wasn’t in Tampa and it sure as hell is not on the campaign trail.