The race for who will rule the captured souls of the White House Correspondents' Association has begun, and it is almost exactly like regular politics. Ballots aren't due until July 15, but WHCA reporters are whispering these actual things to each other, at work, right now: "My expectation was that I would be running unopposed" and "The basic issue for me is access" and "I'm charming."

There are three seats on the WHCA board of directors up for grabs, and two -- the "TV seat" and the "magazine seat" -- are uncontested. And because White House press briefings are now available to anyone with cable or a computer, the actual importance of the White House Correspondents' Association has dropped to zero. If not for the tawdry spectacle of the annual celebrity-guest formal dinner and the vicious battle over Helen Thomas' vacated Hitler Seat, the group would be as obscure as any fading trade association.

In other words, "Carol Lee's Politico colleague Kendra Marr built her campaign a Facebook page." These are the platforms of some other candidates:

  • If elected, Bloomberg's Hans Nichols promises to address the "injustice of White House correspondents' dinner seating arrangements, the need for 'newsy' background meetings and early-morning gaggles, the disrespect shown toward the press by interminable delays."
  • The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler would host a "summer picnic for actual WH reporters and officials."
  • CNN's Ed Henry -- "the CNN anchor with perfectly parted politician hair, who is running for the uncontested 'TV seat' -- has yet to promise anything, on his Twitter or elsewhere.

[Washington Post]

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