Ohio Debate Focuses On Human Vulnerability

27 02 2008

I know we aren’t supposed to humanize our presidential candidates. There is some sort of blogging rule that applies here. I can’t find it right now but I know it’s out there. I realize it’s impossible to humanize Dick Cheney but that’s about right because I’m not real sure he’s human.

Last night, while half the country was watching American Idol, much of Tennessee was following the Vanderbilt/Tennessee game and the rest of non-blogging folks like Homer were trying to convince her children that just because they saw a hint of snow on the ground would not necessarily constitute a day off from school today and Squirrel Queen abandoned all politics in favor of Big Brother, I watched the debates.

It’s the 2oth Democratic debate. I know if I’m feeling debate fatigue so are the candidates. And, damn me, I know, for humanizing them but they both looked tired. And on top of the that, McCain looked whupped yesterday as well especially when he was disputing Bob Cunningham, which regardless of what you may think (and I know it will be debated that he HAD to knock Cunningham, but let’s be frank, he didn’t have to. They are playing the “Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama” thing because it sets seeds of distrust as does that silly picture that the MSM made such a big deal about earlier this week.) Sharon Cobb has a breakdown on all of that.

What I saw last night was tired people hammering at issues and their own personal weariness. (But Coma, they are running for president. They can’t be fatigued. They can’t be tired. It’s just not allowed.)

Sure it is. Humans rule this country, not robots. These people are dog-assed tired and it’s not even half-time.

Clinton was aggressive. She had to be. I did not approve, AS A VOTER, of her shenanigans over the past weekend not that my approval rating means crap but it’s my opinion. Let’s get out of the politics for a moment and think of human emotion and confusion. She was supposed to be the annointed one. This nomination was supposed to be hers. She may not have been prepared for the tsunami of support that has shifted toward Barack Obama. I don’t think she’s necessarily doing anything any other candidate wouldn’t do in her position. Clinton is brilliant, there isn’t any doubt about that, but she’s not always personable. Her husband had that instant likability factor but she never has. It doesn’t make her any less intelligent. She looked tired, angry and was ready for bear. She did what she had to do. Let’s keep in mind too that when she was attacking the press that MSNBC has been on her shit list after the Chelsea thing from a few weeks ago. (And she loses points about the first question out thing because it just wasn’t necessary. The average citizen doesn’t care. Clinton got to set the tone for the health care portion of the evening which lasted 16 minutes. That was kinda lame.)

But she’s human. And even Wonder Woman got tired sometimes.

Now, let’s go to Obama. I thought he actually looked more exhausted than Clinton did. His body language for the first time in any debate betrayed him to a degree as he shifted with subtle frustration. Hell, I’d be frustrated too after his weekend. He’s dealing with people attacking his religion, his ethnicity, his experience, his wife, his character and his patriotism. He needs Ohio and Texas as much as Hillary Clinton does. He’s not anointed either, campers. As the moderators headed to a clip, you could see him aggressively saying he wanted to respond to something Clinton said and was quite demonstrative about it. I’ve not seen him do that before.

These people are human.

And Tim Russert, who I’m hot and cold about most of the time because sometimes he appears as swarmy insider and then last night he quoted them both on things they’ve said in the past which was what the news corp should have been doing the last eight years with everyone in Washington. He gains points for that, but he loses points for getting a bit shrill during the debate and then being cocky about it all after it all was over. It’s not about you, Timmy Boy.

On to McCain, who I’ve already discussed, who also looks pooped. Dealing with Cunningham, the Keating Five stuff coming back up (as it should) and the whole NYT’s scandal where he avoided one bullet but opened up a whole new can of worms.

Huckabee was off my radar yesterday so who knows. I don’t want Chuck Norris to come and beat me up but he’s out anyway.

I cannot remember in my 42 years a presidential election lasting this long with this much intensity.

I think the candidates are done with the debates. I know I am. With that said, other than questions I’d like to see answered about urban renewal and rural economic development and recovery, I think we are done here. Many people have their minds made up.

And I was also glad to see frank discussion from both candidates about NAFTA. If they want to know about the impact of how NAFTA desecrates a community, they can come to Hooterville, stay with me and I’ll let them tour about six empty plants here of businesses that have moved abroad. They will be met with industrial tumbleweeds blowing about these empty buildings and a census of a small rural community that is down by several thousand people since 2000.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Clinton and Obama will both be standing on that stage together in Denver at the end when the balloons drop. Right now, candidates are eating their own, but they won’t be in a couple of months.

I actually like the fiery battle going on because in some ways, it’s the way the election should be. There shouldn’t be an anointed one.

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