The Biden Effect

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THE BIDEN EFFECT….I think this poll result from the Washington Post pretty much summarizes what non-obsessives think about Obama’s choice of Joe Biden for vice president: they don’t care. Asked if it would affect their vote, only a quarter said it would, and that quarter was split almost down the middle. There’s just no effect at all.

Which is not to say that there won’t be an effect eventually, of course. If Biden says something dumb, or if McCain’s attack dogs are able to dream up an effective smear campaign against him, it could turn into a mistake. But like nearly any other choice Obama could have made (Hillary Clinton is the obvious exception), he starts off as a big fat null. People just don’t care that much about who the vice president is.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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