Worrying about the vice-presidential pick? Here's why you should:
Political journalists are like sports fans. They get excited over the big game that starts the season, knowing full well that it's only a blip, albeit a sexy one, in a long season before the final showdown.
So it is with the vice presidential selection. Big game. Big names. Big hype. Lots of instant analysis. Then . . . the dogs bark, the presidential caravan moves on and the story changes as more big events such as debates get the breathless treatment.
Still, there are reasons that the veep pick does matter. Read the story.
And here is why you shouldn't:
Barack Obama's choice of a running mate is either the most important political news story of the summer or a bit of boardwalk cotton candy that soon will melt away to nothingness.
The view here is that it means nothing.
Like gardeners, journalists have hardy perennials, stories that crop up predictably every season, like daffodils, produce momentary oohs and aahs at the first sign of color, then die.
The selection of a running mate is just such a perennial, er, quadrennial. The news media find the guessing game tantalizing. It fills so much airtime. But vice-presidential selections don't matter when it comes to who wins the election.
Consider some recent history.