Back when Jay Rosen and I were doing the Rebooting the News podcast, a constant theme of Jay's was what he called the "horse race" -- how reporters would cover the polls, or theatrical performances in debates, what they called "optics" -- as opposed to substance.
Jay thought that election coverage could be about more than that. I of course agreed.
Last night, watching the warm-up show for the Democratic debate, I saw this in a very stark way. Chuck Todd was interviewing the Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, and he was talking about various Sanders' proposals. A thought dawned on me, holy cow someone is actually talking, in concrete ways about a different way to run the country. A thought formed, have I ever seen this happen before? Have we ever had an election that wasn't about winnability or style issues, that wasn't a complete perversion of the political process?
Shouldn't all elections be discussions about different ways to run the country?
But just as the thought was forming, Todd interrupted with a question about polling and that was the end of that.