FORMER MAYORS-TURNED TV HOSTS AND THE EX-PRESIDENTS THEY LOVE….Although I didn’t see television coverage of the speeches last night, I have no doubt that during the inevitable vamping that takes place, the cameras focused in on Jerry Springer working the floor and commentators reminded the home viewers that Springer used to have quite a political career in local Ohio politics. I wasn’t surprised to see Springer embraced in bear hugs by various Ohio delegates. But I did smile when I caught sight of him rummaging around in the middle of Clinton’s speech for a free “America’s Future” sign and then jumping up to wave it enthusiastically during each of the applause lines.

If you find yourself drifting away during this week’s gavel-to-gavel coverage and want to learn about how Springer went from being a rising political star whose skills were compared to the Kennedys to a trashy daytime talk show host, you can always listen to this fascinating “This American Life” segment on his career.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned this earlier, but I was writing at 3 in the morning so was perhaps a bit fuzzy-headed. I didn’t watch televised coverage of the speeches because I was in the Fleet Center, sitting in the press gallery next to the podium, totally mesmerized by the spectacle (in a hard-nosed journalist kind of way, of course). So I’m depending on others to give the “here’s what the media people were saying” take on the Convention since I’ll be reporting courtside.

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Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.