Famous-for-D.C., Fun-for-Ohio

some huge fucking handsSo you're a journalist on the campaign trail. It is very boring. Your candidate speaks with the cadences of a anti-abolitionist and his veep is so relentlessly on-message that you've already memorized his stump speech. Your editor told you that they can only take so many stories about the wacky wife. And the real tragedy? They keep dragging your ass to Ohio.

But you're creative, you're vaguely naughty, you're not exactly going to burn through your expense account at the Columbus Hilton. . . So you decide: When life gives you lemons, make bets. Specifically, start a buck-a-head pool with your fellow reporters on how many days Kerry will spend in the battleground state. We're guessing that's the genesis of an intriguing email forwarded us to by an anonymous party that shows members of the Kerry traveling press engaging in just such sport.

We're not going to name names, but we will tell you the spread runs from an optimistic 15 to a depressing (and desperate) 52, and that certain major news organizations are deeply divided on the issue. If you're interested in playing along yourself, the pool organizer has some observations:

So, JK has spent 9.7 percent of the days so far in Ohio, upping the pace from the last update (8 percent). If he stays on that pace, he will spend 8 or 9 more days in Ohio by Election Day. . . But it's not that simple. JK's four Ohio days in the past two weeks is a 28.5 percent pace -- which would bring at least 24 more days, making JXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's 38 days guess look good. Or, you could consider JK's five Ohio days in the past two months, a 7.8 percent pace that would give us only 6 or 7 more days in Buckeyeland, making for an October showdown among 6 Ohio Pool players.

Whew, it's a wild, wild ride here at the Ohio Pool.

Well, everything's relative.

[AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File]


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