This Magic Momentum

Friday, March 07, 2008


Hillary Clinton's victories this week barely dented Barack Obama’s delegate lead, but they did wonders for her momentum. That is if you believe in all that momentum stuff. Slate's Tim Noah says momentum is less a political reality than a narrative device for reporters.

Comments [2]

Scott Morris from Darrington, Washington

This story had one oft-repeated rush to judgment -- that Hillary won Texas. Actually, later caucus returns pushed Obama into a delegate lead in Texas. Yet most media scorecards continue to say Clinton 3, Obama 1, even though each likely won two states that day. All Things Considered got it right, and I've come to expect the same from On The Media. You missed a good chance to illustrate how this narrative device -- momentum -- can get skewed if reporters move on too quickly. I believe the narrative device we're looking for here is called "follow up."

Mar. 11 2008 02:05 AM
Elizabeth Curtiss from Burlington, Vermont

Thanks for a useful discussion of how reporters organize their stories. What I really want them to do is ask the two remaining candidates to explain WHY they are asserting particular points in their positions, i.e., why OBama has insurance companies at the table in health care reform, what five steps Clinton would take first after she got the 3 a.m. phone call, and how long would she expect to have to figure things out before speaking to the public, etc. etc.

Mar. 10 2008 09:13 AM

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