February 11, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Presidential election is still worthy of Page One play in some dailies

How do you whoop-up the presidential election when we’re in a sort-of in-between stage, when even the lead story in the nation’s biggest daily, USA Today, reports that “Obama cruises; Clinton retools”? The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson plays up “Running-mate roulette,” with a dozen mug shots, noting that “Potential picks are plentiful,” while The Denver Post has a Page One layout about “The hit ‘Yes We Can’ video backing Obama is part of a wave in support of politicians finding new audiences on the Internet.”

For many dailies, The Associated Press story about the role of the Democratic Party’s super delegates was worthy of Page One play. The Gazette in Colorado Springs calls them the “Super Powerful” who “could decide who wins the Democratic nomination,” a story that leads the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, is squared-off across the top of The Lewiston Tribune in Idaho and The Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., and receives Page One treatment in other dailies.

Other editors decided that the change in leadership of the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign was the story of the day, with Maggie Williams replacing Patti Solis Doyle. The change leads The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J ., and the Chicago Tribune. Other dailies twinned it up with Barack Obama picking up some votes and delegates, as with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock lead story “Maine goes to Obama; Clinton’s manager out,” New York Times’ off-lead “Maine to Obama; Clinton replaces campaign leader” and The Providence Journal in Rhode Island telling its readers about “A win for Obama as Clinton regroups.” The Sun in Baltimore offers a special section inside about the Tuesday primary in that state, touting “Everything you need to know going into the Maryland primary” while leading with a story about Clinton “hopes to avert Obama sweep in Md., D.C., Va.” in tomorrow’s voting.

Yes, the election is still with us but at coffee-break time around here we’re going back to the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Page One feature, with photos, about “A great auto race,” when, “Nearly 100 years ago, four legendary cars stopped in Cheyenne on a quest to drive from New York to Paris…” That’s what dreams are really made of.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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