Are we all 'Bronco Bamma' girl, so tired of election we could cry?
The distress of the 'Bronco Bamma' girl, Abigael Evans, seemed to touch enough of a chord that NPR issued an apology, of sorts. But sometimes an unhappy or tired child is just that.
Are we all “Bronco Bamma” girl, so tired of the election we could cry?Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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Don’t know what we’re talking about? You obviously haven’t wasted any time on viral videos over the last several days. “Bronco Bamma” girl is four-year-old Abigael Evans, a Colorado tyke who burst into exhausted tears after hearing one too many reports on the 2012 presidential election.
The You Tube clip of this sobbing tyke has drawn close to 2 million views. It shows a crying Abigael saying “I’m tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney.”
Off, screen, her mom Elizabeth Evans asks, “That’s why you’re crying?”
Abigael gives an affirmative nod, and hiccups.
“Oh, it’ll be over soon, Abby, OK?” says her mom.
Apparently the little girl had heard one too many NPR election reports in the car transporting her to and from day care, since her family doesn’t watch TV at home. That’s what her mom said, anyway. You know E.J. Dionne and David Brooks – when they get into it, it’s terrifying. It’s like pro wrestling, except they’re both wearing ties and neither one is rising from their chair or raising their voice.
NPR issued a formal apology. “We must confess, the campaign’s gone on long enough for us, too. Let’s just keep telling ourselves: ‘Only a few more days, only a few more days, only a few more days’.”
You know what we have to say to NPR about that? Liar, liar, your pledge-drive tote bag’s on fire.
NPR, as well as the entire US media, would be thrilled if the campaign kept on for at least a few more weeks. That’s because it’s a huge viewer/listener/reader attraction. The cumulative number of people who watched the three presidential debates was about 192 million. The first debate alone drew 67.2 million viewers. That’s over half the number of people who voted for president in 2008.
Yes, but average citizens are sick of the campaign, right? So Bronco Bamma girl speaks for them, like the Lorax speaks for the trees? After all, her You Tube clip attracted lots of comments seconding her emotions and bemoaning the length and negativity of the campaign. (At least, it did until the comments section was disabled. Haters, you know.)
We’re not sure about that either. Theoretically we can understand how three months of attack ads would render one mute. But polls show voters have mixed views about the presidential race per se.
Let’s look at a new Pew survey that’s apropos. It finds that 63 percent of respondents see the campaign as “interesting.” Interestingly, that number has almost doubled since June, when only 34 percent made the same choice.
So as the campaign has progressed, more people, not fewer, got sucked into the drama that is Obama versus Romney.
As to whether the campaign has stretched on and on, the public is about split, according to Pew. Forty-nine percent judged that it’s gone on too long. Fifty-five percent said it was too negative. So the majority went with “Bronco Bamma” girl on that.
On the whole, though, we’d conclude from these numbers that sometimes an unhappy child is just an unhappy child – not a symbol of US populace frustrations.