Tracy Townsend is a news reporter and anchor with 10TV News HD.
Call me a political nerd, but I absolutely love a good campaign whether for president or a position on the school board. This political love affair started in the 1970s when I would often watch the evening news with my parents. We had spirited discussions about current events and my curiosity about the world was piqued (am I the only one who, as a kid, thought guerilla warfare involved gorillas?). When I was a kid, we had the 6 p.m. news followed by the national news. Now the news is virtually nonstop:24 hours, seven days a week.All the coverage you can stand. It should come as no surprise that I can stand a lot. When it comes to my family, they'd say, "Not so much." And yet, the presidential campaign has come to our house and has clearly made itself at home. In the interest of full disclosure, my husband, Murv, and I are quite involved in community service. We never miss an opportunity to vote, especially in matters related to our school district. We have family and friends who serve politically in local, state and national offices. However, I can tell you that after nearly a year of me leading 10TV's coverage of Campaign 2012, my dear husband has about had it. Our son, Ian, is pretty well over it, too.He told me, "It's boring, Mom, and besides, I already know who I'm voting for" (in his classroom mock-election and I can tell you he is quite resolute in his choice). Covering the campaign has taken me to all parts of Ohio as the candidates are visiting on a near weekly basis. Plus my team and I spent two weeks on the road covering both the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.It has been a blast to bask in all things political, but it's come at some cost: For the first time in five years, I missed open house and curriculum night at school (oh, the guilt!). But, as a family, we had sat down and planned ways to make the constant coming and going work for all of us. There is some good coming from having such a close view of political history. We are able to bring to life Ian's studies of the three branches of government, for example. At a time when many would say the political discourse has become uncivilized, too personal and far too partisan, we are able to explain what it means to respectfully disagree. In those times when I dare to join the discourse, which really means me talking to the pundits on television from the comfort of my couch, I have had to lay out some ground rules for Ian. Most important is that Mommy maintains her objectivity and remains middle of the road on the issues and the candidates. Sure, that concept was a little challenging for him as a 10-year-old. It helped when I reminded him of my other "rule" - that he is never to discuss my age or true hair color. As we get closer to the Nov. 6 election day, I'm sure things will pick up with candidate visits, debates and wall-to-wall coverage. My family promises to continue to be supportive but you can bet they're looking forward to Nov. 7. -Tracy Townsend is a news reporter and anchor with 10TV News HD.