White House Correspondents Association's Elections Getting Ugly

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.


From a delightful Washington Post exposé:

But the real race is for the "at large" seat, coveted by [Bloomberg reporter Hans] Nichols, Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal and Carol Lee of Politico.

"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]