On Hardball’s pregame right now, a crowd of people—most of them, apparently, Hofstra students; almost all of them, judging from their cheers and jeers, Obama supporters—is gathered behind Chris Matthews as he chats with the Chicago Tribune’s Jill Zuckman and The New York Times’s Jeff Zeleny. Behind Matthews’s head, a large sign, its black background and its orange and white lettering standing out among the sea of Obamian Red and Blue, is being propped up by an unknown advocate. The sign advertises Ed in ‘08, an attempt to make education reform a key issue in the presidential campaign. I’ve written about their efforts before, on Campaign Desk, and must sadly acknowledge that, however worthy their cause, and however noble their efforts toward achieving it, that cause has now been completely trumped by the economy. Chalk yet another loss up to the crisis.

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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.