I think I know a fair amount about lobsters given that James grew up in Maine. I know that the only real way to eat them is steamed with tons of butter. And I know the best napkin for such occasions is a dish towel, and at times a hammer might even be required for the dinner table.
But when I read today in a column concerning the pundits and reporters covering the Democratic presidential nomination, which included a phrase about the “cable-news lobster shift ” of late night election coverage, I was perplexed. Even James was unsure what the writer meant.
The tone of finality could be heard on the cable-news lobster shift that is now a regular feature of late election nights. “I think there’s an increasing presumption tonight that Obama’s going to be the nominee,” Chris Wallace, the Fox News host, said to Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru, who is now a Fox analyst. David Gergen, an adviser to several presidents, including Bill Clinton, said on CNN after 1 a.m., “I think the Clinton people know the game is almost up.”
So I toss this question out to my growing readership, who I view as savvy and smart. What is a lobster shift? And why is it so named?