Not too many years ago, I could be sitting in a hotel room in a Presidential-election year with a laptop computer, sorting and selecting photographs of the primary election night activities the evening before.
Depending on who paid for such services, I might also be writing a story and providing information to a reporter for his or her story.
That, as the cliche goes, was then.
This is now.
I had a chance to be back on the road this year with my cameras, covering the this circus of a Presidential election year for a wire service but I said no. It was something I used to do but no longer
I spent three hours this morning editing and selecting stories and photos from other reporters and photographers and updating the home page of my political news web site, Capitol Hill Blue.
And I wrote an opinion column about the primaries Tuesday that gave both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump big wins. The results in Florida left one-time GOP favorite Marco Rubio without a choice and he suspended his campaign after he could not even capture his own state.
Over on the Democratic side, the facing assault from self-professed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to be more of a minor headache as he lost — including failing to capture delegates from the “winner-take-all” primaries.
Clinton is on path to clinch the Democratic nomination for President. Trump is the presumed nominee for the Republicans, although he may not clinch the race before the GOP convention and it could lead to a brokered event where chaos could reign in an already unbelievable year.
Do I miss the rough and tumble days as a newspaperman covering the Presidential elections or as a political operative?
Maybe a little but I turned down a wire service offer this year because I would much rather spend the rest of 2016 shooting news photos of high school sports and/or covering county government and the courts.
This year’s race is turning into a contest between a racist, misogynistic ego-maniacal madman and a former Secretary of State and First Lady with credibility problems and a husband whose “accomplishments” as President is best-known in some circles for getting blow job from an intern in the Oval Office.
I’d like to say this year is a surprise but as a one-time political operative for the national Republican Party, I am not shocked that it is about to nominate a self-centered racist like Donald Trump.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has enough political baggage to sink most candidates in a “normal” election year but 2016 is anything but normal and politics today is a sterling example of the “anything goes” attitude that now permeates America. Her rival for the nomination is an aging self-declared socialist.
As a journalist, I watch and write about this madness with a jaundiced eye. As an American, I can only shake my head and wonder what the hell happened?
The only certainty in this election year is a self-declared one. At the end of this campaign season, after the general election in November, I will stop writing about politics for the web site I started in 1994.
I will leave it to others to document is America, as we know it, is done too.