Post-Partisan Politics, Personified!

Yesterday, Clint mentioned the lengths to which some cable news networks will go to promote themselves during the convention. (Such lengths, if you’re MSNBC, involve hiring workers to don red-, white-, and blue-bedecked elephant and donkey costumes and ride around on Segways, waving at passers-by, posing for photos with gawkers, handing out fliers, and generally engaging in all manner of self-promotional hilarity.)

I happened upon the Cirque du Segway yesterday afternoon, during a lull in MSNBC’s outdoor broadcasting that sent an even bigger crowd than usual in the direction of its free-wheeling dog-and-pony elephant-and-donkey show. All was jovial as the DNCC delegates posed for photos with the mascots, high-fiving the donkey (“Obama! Yeah!”), giggling at the inanity of it all. Until one delegate, on his way to the donkey for a photo, stopped in his tracks.

“Hey, don’t take my picture with the elephant!” he cried at no one in particular.

The elephant froze for a moment, then spun around forlornly, starting to Seg away. The crowd watched in stunned silence.

But then: “Hey—why don’t you guys give each other a hug?” someone shouted.

And they did.

As cameras flashed, recording the convention’s rare moment of bipartisanship, Don’t-Take-My-Picture-with-the-Elephant smirked. “Well, we’ll never see that in real life,” he said, walking away.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.