Enough Already: Game Changer

From the pundits who brought you "thrown under the bus," "taking the gloves off" and sundry other sports analogies in electoral politics comes the latest irritating game in town: the "game changer." Back in March, Sen. Barack Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright were dubbed a primary-season game changer— until Obama's exculpatory speech on race changed the game right back again. Hillary's big win in Pennsylvania was a game changer (or maybe not), as was Obama's world tour (though it's unclear for whom, him or John McCain). Last week the game allegedly changed twice in 13 hours: first with Obama's convention speech, then the next day with McCain's veep selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

By the time you read this, it'll probably have "changed" a few more times. And there's the rub: do we really believe that something as massive as a national presidential campaign fundamentally shifts more than once or twice per election? It's another byproduct of millisecond news cycles: if today's story isn't game-changing, we might as well change the channel. And we can't have that. So this week, as the media grade each GOP convention speaker (game changers all!), let's test-drive a new sports analogy: game over.