Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now That It's Over ...

Now that the election is over, what the hell do I write about? All the stuff I wrote about before the election.

This blog is about whether and how people learn from the media, not really about presidential elections, though we often focus on campaigns as a way to understand how people make sense of their political world. I'll return now to looking at studies of political knowledge and, soon, an examination of how people learned about McCain and Obama. I want that data to settle a bit before I start messing around, peeking under the hood.

But what people know is also more than politics. I love looking at how people learn about geography or history or science, what they know versus what they think they know, and of course examples of truly dumb or truly smart folks. And no doubt there will be a cottage industry of new books to soon emerge and if they touch on this subject in any way, I'll cover them as best I can.

Now for a brief presidential moment. It'll be interesting to see how people's perception of Obama changes once he shifts from campaigning to the hard work of governing. Campaigning is about poetry, someone once said, while governing is about prose. The flourishes of the stump speech disappear when it gets down to the nitty gritty of compromise and sacrifice and playing political poker. What people know about Obama, or think they know, will change. That's part of the fun, studying this stuff.

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