Mike's Newspaper Column

Mike's Newspaper Column
Read Mike's column weekly in the Times Community Newspaper Family, including the legendary Kettering-Oakwood Times, and posted here the following week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Campaign 2008-Here We Go Again


Mike Scinto

January 24, 2007

With the infusion of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s names officially into America’s political veins this past week, I feel compelled to once again express my concerns about how our election system has evolved.

The race is on. Actually, truth be known, the race began well before our 2006 election. I have been involved in covering elections from both the news booth and the talk show host’s chair for three decades. Back in the Reagan and Bush (Bush #41) years I was actively chasing candidates down on the campaign trail and sticking microphones in their faces to grab that perfect sound bite for my show. But I’ve changed as have the campaigns. I believe my metamorphosis has been good. I can’t say the same for the candidates.

Back in 2003-2004 presidential hopefuls were traveling up and down County Road 25-A more than I was……and I travel it at least twice daily. The greater Dayton area was ground zero for the campaigns.

I was offered presidential press credentials by both political parties and afforded the opportunity to be at any and all of their traverses through the Miami Valley. I declined all of them. I was simply burned out on the whole process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our system in principal. What I’m not crazy about is what my colleagues in the media have turned it into….a circus. It’s an expensive circus too.

There was always speculation about who might throw their hat in the ring in the next presidential election. But the campaigning really didn’t start until late fall the year before election year. And that was early enough for me.

And the price tags; I haven’t looked at the most recent price tag estimates for the 2008 presidential elections but I guarantee you’d have to win several of the 200 million dollar power balls drawings to have a snowball’s chance in Miami of being able to run.

I have a feeling Abe Lincoln and his contemporaries are rolling over in their graves. The day of walking, or riding a horse or slow train, from town to town and actually meeting the people face-to-face is long gone. The best we get is a high def visit on our plasma TV with pre-screened Q and A and well-spun promises. The closest we come to shaking their hand is clicking the remote.

And this is good for us and the future of our system? Maybe these changes were inevitable just as progress is inevitable. Well, you may not stop progress, or even slow it down. That doesn’t mean it’s always for the best. I suppose I sound a bit like my Dad and Granddad now. Maybe the values they instilled in me weren’t so “uncool” after all…..I just didn’t realize it at the time.


Mike Scinto hosts the longest running radio talk show in Southwestern Ohio. Now in its 30th year, The Mike Scinto Show can be heard from Noon until 2:00 PM weekdays on 1210AM WDAO. Mike also sits in on the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher Show and is a contributor on cable’s Fox News Channel.