Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sitting down with the Man

This is a Political Post
It's going to cover a political topic and discuss some political things and probably get a reader or two mad and make somebody else mutter "he's crazy" under their breath but then this is my blog and not yours and I can say what I want to, so there.

Photo from AP

Last night, like probably half of America, I sat down and shrugged off a new episode of South Park and the premiere of David Alan Grier's attempt to be Comedy Central's replacement for Dave Chapelle and found myself oddly intrigued by three men sitting on a stage discussing politics.

Bully for America. It's about damn time we took this much interest in government.

The two men shook hands and sat down in a format I kinda suggested a few weeks ago, semi - informal but with the ability to discuss. Both men looked ready. And Bob the moderator should have opened with three quick one answer questions that would have gotten both a little rattled, but loosened them up.

1. Grass or AstroTurf?
2. Cheese or No cheese?
3. Chicken wings or Chicken tenders?

This would have given the talking heads who analyze these types of things simply hours of airtime trying to figure out what their answers meant. You could have added in "How much does it cost to go out on a Friday with the family in America?" as a finale, but that is like the infamous gallon of milk question. Just like an NBA or NFL ref you don't want the game to hang on your whistle or call, you want to let them play.

And play they did. Obama came across to me cool and polished. It takes a real cool and even man to give the answer he did when asked was Palin ready to become president if the worst should happen. In the overall questioning McCain started strong in my humble opinion, but faded at the end, sniping at his opponent in almost ALL of his answers. The eye rolling at one of Obama's answers didn't help. It began to sound petty and you wonder if the man you're watching remembers he is a United States Senator.

Both men used a real world example, Joe the Plumber, trying to show how their plans would work in an actual situation. I think it worked for both sides as they were able to put a real face on their concepts, and how their tax plans and health plans would affect those at those thresholds. I am not. Yet. (Afterwards I found the video where Obama actually met Joe, and he stopped, answered the man's questions and explained to him what the pros and the cons were of his plan and why he thought it should work the way it did. It took him over 5 minutes - all off the cuff.)

And the budget, with Obama's scalpel and McCain's sword. McCain's idea to take a hatchet to the government budget, which waxed nostalgic to Republican fiscal promises of the past, all of which met "difficulties" being kept and were ultimately abandoned. No more money out...unless it's for defense. They can have all they want. And this continuing crusade against "pork" which seems silly considering how little effect this will have on the grand scheme of things.

Bob the Moderator brought up how negative the campaigns had gone.
Bob the Moderator brought up abortion.
Bob the Moderator brought up Supreme Court justices.
Bob the Moderator brought up the tax and health plans.
Bob the Moderator brought in the economy..and flipped the question.
Bob the Moderator is good.

The more the elder senator talked the more bitter he began to sound, at least to me. When the "terrorist" accusation was brought up and duly answered, his response to Obama's explanation seemed to me as though if the junior senator didn't admit to some wrongdoing there simply must still be more story to tell. What sinister association is supposed to exist here?

I'm still trying to figure out what they were writing down on those pads. Or why John stuck his tongue out at the end ...

I don't know what most of America got out it, but you saw this evening what I think should have been all three debates. It was as up close and personal as most of us are ever going to get with the next leader of the free world.

The clock is ticking. And thank God it will all be over soon.

Barkeep - just a little apple juice. Need to keep my head clear.

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