America's most prestigious stenographers, the White House correspondents, are not likely to ask their usual sharp, insightful questions "this week." They're preoccupied with the real 2010 elections: those for the White House Correspondents' Association board. Blood will be shed.
White House Correspondents' Association board members have many responsibilities: getting cake for colleagues' birthdays, reimbursing break-room expenses, setting up parties with their friends, the politicians, on the White House lawn. Also, getting all of the Hollywood celebrities in town for the annual correspondents' dinner! It's a lot of pressure: will the new board members be able to land Bieber again in 2011? This is the litmus test.
Several of the races are uncontested. One, however, is no joke: the "at-large" seat. If you ever ran for a student council position in middle school, this should sound frighteningly familiar.
"My expectation was that I would be running unopposed," Meckler said. "I never thought there would be such an intense campaign."
Each candidate has sent out a mission statement. Nichols positioned himself as the populist. ("I sit in the basement, where I belong," he wrote.) Meckler staked out the experienced-candidate ground. ("I've worked in Washington for 14 years," she wrote, describing herself as a "tough" but also "nice person" who called for a "summer picnic for actual WH reporters and officials.") Lee's bullet points announced her strictly business approach. ("I'm at the White House every day, all day," she wrote, emphasizing her "can-do attitude.")
Yeah, so it definitely sounds like they don't give a shit. "Nice person"? "Can-do attitude"? Snooze. Might as well vote Nader this time around.
They really, really do care about this, though:
The candidates have spent hours upon hours delivering personal pitches on the sidelines of the briefing room, over coffee or on the phone. They have sent e-mails, in many cases multiple e-mails, to members who haven't yet voted. Lee's Politico colleague Kendra Marr built her campaign a Facebook page.
Seems like it will come down to whichever candidate hands out the most candy on election day.
[Photo via Getty Images]