Saturday, August 30, 2008

The road ahead 

Absolutely, this is going to be a very quotable two months.

Some things that come to mind, and a few I’m looking forward to:

A. Debates past:

1. 1988: Dan Quayle, no-experience pretty-boy nobody vs. Lloyd Bentsen, consummate insider and four-term senator. Bentsen lands one the greatest lines in debate history but comes off as supercilious and mean.

2. 2000: George Bush, no-experience pretty-boy nobody vs. Al Gore. Expectations set so low as to allow Bush to win by showing up and not drooling on himself. By speaking, Gore comes off as arrogant and mean.

3. 2004: George Bush, now brain-damaged and relying on a mechanical box to speak for him, battles war hero Kerry to a draw by uttering noises.

B. And future:

1. Moderator: “Before we get into foreign policy, Senator Biden, many question your ethical integrity because, though a Catholic, you support abortion. Governor Palin, on the other hand, a woman and mother of five, including one child with Down Syndrome, is a staunch opponent. How do you square your hypocrisy with her sincerity?”

2. Moderator: “Governor Palin, much has been made of your lack of Washington foreign policy experience, especially compared to that of your opponent, Senator Biden. But wouldn’t you agree, just as the Obama campaign has said on numerous occasions, that what matters more than Beltway experience in dealing with international crises is sound character, common sense, and judgment, which you clearly possess, as a mother of five children, including one child serving in the armed forces now?”

C. General, mixed-bag:

1. Random Joe Biden scandal TBD:

a. Conflict of influence / kickback scheme involving lobbyist son Hunter’s schmoozing Dad and getting rich off connections

b. Drunken photos from the café car of the northeast direct Amtrak train and/or testimony from young female (or male) Amtrak conductor as to Biden’s drunken groping

c. Stray offensive comment about “hockey moms,” children with Down Syndrome, Alaskan beauty pageants, worse.

2. “South-Side Chicago People for Truth” ad campaign:

Elderly African-American Man: “Yes, I remember when Barack Obama came down here from his fancy school to work as an organizer. But it wasn’t the Obama you hear about in all the speeches and commercials. He was only doing the work for himself and for how far it would get him in his career, and not for the people out here. In fact, while the other organizers lived here in the neighborhood, Obama was staying in a fancy hotel uptown, drawing a paycheck from his fancy law firm. We need a leader like John McCain who means what he says and says what he means, and won’t sell out his own people to get ahead.”

3. “Resentful, Self-Immolating Hillary Supporters for Palin” ad campaign:

Middle-Aged Suburban White Woman: “I’m a Hillary supporter, and I still can’t stand the way she was smeared in that rigged Democratic primary. And though Sarah Palin’s views might differ a little from mine, I’m ‘Standing up for Sarah,’ because she’s a mother of five who understands what it’s like to be smeared and belittled by powerful men. And unlike Joe Biden, her children don’t trade on her influence for money, and she doesn’t fondle train conductors, and she never disparages the most noble work there is: being a hockey mom."


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