Too much too soon?
We have had our first complaint about our coverage of the US presidential election primaries - the gist is that we are already doing too much.
"Please, enough of the US 'primaries' and Hillary's tears. This pre-election election will go on for 11 months yet. Let the Americans steep themselves in this serial. Why must we?"
On last Friday's World Tonight (which you can listen to here )we discussed why the world outside the US is interested in the primaries. During the discussion, the London correspondent of Brazil's Globo News, Silio Boccanera, joked that the rest of the world should have a vote in the US elections too because of the impact the US has on all our lives.
His observation encapsulated the reason why I believe it's important we devote more coverage to the presidential election in the US than say Russia or France. Voters in the US have started the process that will lead to the selection of the next president of the world's only remaining super power. And as we have seen repeatedly over the past few years, who runs the US administration has a big impact on this country and the rest of the world - Iraq and Afghanistan are just the two most dramatic examples of this for Britain.
During the primaries, the candidates for the two main parties’ nomination get the chance to set out their stall and hone their ideas for what they would do if they get to the White House. American voters get to have a say on which of these visions they prefer and it gives the rest of us a chance to assess what the future may hold in terms of the health of the US economy and America's policy on climate change, as well as foreign policy issues like the US dispute with Iran and their growing rift with Russia.
There is also the inherent drama of the primaries as a story in themselves, and this year the elections are more dramatic than for many a year because they are wide open and quite unpredictable - as many media outlets found to their cost last week when Hillary Clinton confounded many predictions to win the New Hampshire Democratic contest.