Perhaps it’s because we have minorities running for president for the first time. Perhaps it’s because Bush is just so terrible. Perhaps it’s because this is the first election without incumbents in the primaries since 1928.

Whatever the reason, the U.S. presidential primaries, traditionally a quiet and rather boring process to the majority of Americans (even to the half that does vote) have become the latest craze with up to the minute updates on the latest polls, the latest endorsements, but mostly the latest gossip.

In the place of American Idol chitchat, people are talking about surprising and even scandalous campaign endorsements. Oprah endorsed Obama, but what about power to the women? Ted and Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama, but what about their close relationship with the Clintons? But wait, who is endorsing Clinton? It seems like Obama has all the celebrities (Stevie Wonder included). On the Republican side, McCain has… oh right, President Bush!

So, are people really paying more attention than usual to the primaries or is all this just “media hype”? After all, CNN advertises live debates among the candidates like ESPN advertises a boxing match. Most major online news sources have special sections for “the campaign trail.” It appears as though the elections have taken Paris Hilton out of the headlines in the newstainment world.

The internet tells the truth — like the 500,000 views on YouTube of the Hillary/Obama “fight” at the South Carolina democratic debate. Of course that figure doesn’t compare to the over 3 million views of Obama’s music video, “Yes We Can.”

But YouTube is only one outlet. We can’t forget Facebook. There are now over 500 Facebook groups and special applications for candidates to create their own profile pages.

In 2004, there were no Facebook groups or Youtube debates. Of course, therein lies the answer to the question, when did presidential primaries become cool?

Politics has become trendy thanks to our generation, and the internet. As up and coming voting-age youth, news networks and social networking sites are paying attention to us, and in turn we are paying attention to them — maybe even more than reality TV shows.

By Mary Lide Parker