Inner Old Man #1: I don’t like that the Presidential campaign gets covered as a horse race, but, fine, I’ll concede that, at the end of the day, it is a horse race. But it’s kind of a drag that the Oscars now get covered as a horse race. And it’s a real drag that movies’ weekend grosses get covered as a horse race. That the holiday shopping season now gets covered as a horse race, too—well, that’s just total craziness.
Inner Old Man #2: Sure. But, uhm, have you noticed that the American consumer is about the only thing keeping the entire economy afloat?
#1: Oh. Right. (long pause) But, dammit, everything shouldn’t be covered like it’s a horse race!
Somewhat Relatedly: Mickey Kaus is flogging an interesting theory regarding why so much political press verbiage and air time is devoted to the horse race theme of “electability”:
For one thing, “who’s electable” is a Neutral Story Line—it seemingly doesn’t require reporters and publications to take stands or sides. You can write dozens of “Is Hillary Electable?” stories without letting on what you think about, say, government-guaranteed health care. It’s harder to write “Will Hillary be a Good President?” without doing that.