Covering The Candidates Who Thirst For Attention

At this time of the campaign season, the major-party candidates are thoroughly sapped of energy from months (years, in Mitt Romney’s case) of campaigning, fundraising and recent weeks of debates across the country.

Not so much for third-party candidates, who still seemed energized and ready to pack in as many last-minute debates as possible before Election Day. I sat inside Busboys & Poets last night in Washington to hear four third-party candidates (there has to be a better term) debate each other — and I do mean each other, since direct questioning of candidates was encouraged.

The room was filled with journalists, camera crews and political staff. I spoke with Jill Stein of the Green Party, several aides of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and a host of journalists for the story, which is linked to here.

A few of my favorite quotes from the story:

“It’s fair to say that democracy is under lockdown. Media have been working very hard to suppress knowledge that there are alternative candidates out there… The state of our media is emblematic of the state of our democracy – it’s bought and paid for.” – Jill Stein, Green Party

“As far as the Gary Johnson press corps, you’re looking at it,” Quinn says. “It can be a lonely existence. There’s no one to bounce ideas off day to day. It’s just you.” — Garrett Quinn, Reason

“I’m sympathetic to [candidates’] concern that they can’t become major candidates without coverage, but it’s not our job to help them become major candidates” — Paul Singer, USA Today politics editor

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