I happened to pick up a copy of the Boston Metro newspaper today – you know, the free one that you can get at any subway stop. Page 1 headline: family of kid who was expelled from Milton Academy and prosecuted for “receiving oral sex” from a 15-year-old girl has sued the school. Huge headline on page 2: dominatrix acquitted of murder. Story about Reilly choosing St. Fleur as his running mate: small teaser on p. 1, and a short story in small type at the bottom of p. 2. Very little about the Gabrieli imbroglio, though it’s mentioned in a little sidebar on p. 2 called “Second choices.” Story about failure of Alito filibuster: right side of the page in small print on p. 5, next to a huge headline about Jill Carroll in Iraq.
I’m guessing that the Boston Metro is a pretty decent barometer of what normal people (i.e., those not obsessed with the daily ins and outs of politics) are paying attention to. Which is to say that it’s as most of us suspected: not too many people really care about these stories. Supreme Court stuff only goes on the public’s radar screen when there’s a pubic hair on a Coke can involved, and it’s just too early in the election cycle for news about the Governor’s race to make much difference.
None of which is to say that this stuff doesn’t matter – obviously it does. But we all need to keep some perspective on what’s going to determine the outcome of these races.