In his New York Times column today Bob Herbert writes that the economy “is the issue on which the Obama people should long since have pounced.” (If not because so many Americans are experiencing “pervasive anxiety” from our troubled economy, as Herbert describes it, then because because of this, the economy is, as Herbert argues, “the key to defeating McCain.”)

As we all know, if a candidate doesn’t “pounce” on an issue, the political press isn’t going to do it for him. And so, it’s The Dog Days of campaign coverage (passing time ‘til the conventions, speculating about VP Short Lists, chasing this year’s Swing Voter —per MSNBC just now that’s “Active Grannies”) while, as my colleague Dean noted, on the business pages, The End Is Nigh. It’s sort of a bizarre disconnect that Dean will explore further over at The Audit in some capacity.

Another argument, perhaps, for having business reporters (and education reporters, science reporters, etc.) more involved, as a matter of course, in campaign coverage. Maybe these reporters would feel, unfamiliar as they may be with the conventions of campaign coverage, free to “pounce” on issues critical to the country… even if the candidates are not?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.