SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
I didn’t watch the first Presidential debate, or the Vice-Presidential debate, for the same reason why I don’t watch most talk shows: I don’t like people talking past each other without actually considering what the other is saying. It’s like the late stages of a drunken family reunion.
(In the second Presidential debate, Romney did a credible job against the tag-team of Obama and “moderator” Candy Crowley.)
After spending four years studying the President’s performance and six months studying his opponent, I’ve pretty much decided. Besides, I follow politics, but not voluntarily. Studying the issues and candidates is simply a civic responsibility, like voting in the election, or for America’s Next Top Chef Shooter Model Idol (coming next season on Fox).
But after seeing so much argument over who won between Biden and Ryan, I went back and watched the whole debate instead of catching up on The Walking Dead marathon, which frankly would have been both more fun and more believable. Now I’ll tell you not only who won the debate, but who’s going to win the election, and why.
I was impressed that Joe Biden didn’t make any of his famous flubs, and he gets points just for not giving us a viral quote. Maybe he’d prefer that he did, since his current reputation as a dunce keeps us from remembering his former reputation as a plagiarist, but he held his own.
Through the course of the debate Biden smirked, laughed, interrupted, bullied, and grinned like a gorilla on laughing gas. While Ryan plodded through his points and appeared calm and reasoned, Biden waved his arms and mocked like a b-movie villain, and looked thoroughly un-Vice-Presidential.
Look, Biden’s not dumb. Well, okay, he’s not all that smart, but if there’s one thing he knows how to do, it’s campaign. It occurs to me that maybe, with this debate, he was giving people exactly what they want:
I’m talking the Jerry Springer style reality TV, the stuff that gives the rest of it a bad name. The kind where awful behavior is not only tolerated, but expected and celebrated. Who’s the most memorable and popular contestant on, say, “Survivor”, or “The Bachelor”, or “The Real World”, or “Surviving the Real World Big Brother Bachelor” (coming next season on NBC)?
It’s the bad guy. The one who imbibes too much, gets into fights, rattles cages just for fun, and stabs any back that happens to present itself. You don’t turn your back on these people, because they’re devious, plotting, and willing to do whatever it takes to win.
I prefer the hero to the anti-hero: The guy who’s straightforward, reasoned, calm, and always does the right thing. The boring guy, the one who hasn’t existed in politics since Lincoln. And if you ask somebody in Atlanta, maybe not then.
I’m thinking Biden figured to win the debate just by being the biggest blowhard, and isn’t that the way most national elections get won? Love him or hate him, the man knows how to win elections.
Read a transcript of the debate, as I did, and you realize from a straight word standpoint it was close to a draw. There it all boils down to who you believe, and what the fact checkers come up with – but taken at face value, you can’t see a huge advantage just from the words. The only other thing I noticed is that the moderator seemed to throw more hardballs at Ryan. (President Obama was a guest at her wedding, but that was way back when he was Mr. Obama.)
For some reason this makes me think of all those nature shows, where the bird with the biggest plumage and the fanciest dance gets the lady bird. Sometimes that works for the guy with the nicest hair and the fanciest car, too.
Which brings us to President Obama, who once drove a 2005 Chrysler 300C, very nice. Hey, I drive a 2005! Of course, he’s traded up.
Okay, I see no reason to keep you in suspense: Regardless of who “won” the debate, the next President of the United States is going to be …
Wait for it …
Who would also be the present POTUS, so hopefully we’ll save some money by not replacing the White House drapes.
Look, I can give you reasons to not vote for Obama, and reasons to vote for Romney, but it all boils down to presentation. In the last election, Obama had the advantage of having no record to defend (or almost none, considering his brief Congressional career). Four years later he’s successfully convinced his supporters that he’s still trying to correct everyone else’s mistakes. That makes being President an advantage: He can be seen doing official business, travel on the taxpayer’s dime, and just look darned Presidential.
Add that to the mainstream media’s belief that he’s the beloved big brother they never had, who lets them borrow the car and shares his favorite albums. Add that to the fact that people hate hearing bad news, and love hearing that the government’s going to give them stuff – free stuff! It sounds too good to be true, but surely it is. I mean, surely it is true.
Debate the record and our problems all you want, but when you add fawning journalists, voters who don’t want to face reality, and the fact that the guy’s just plain charming, and you got everything you need for a Presidential win – no matter how many chads hang in Florida.
So, we’re looking at four more years of praying for the President’s continued good health. And, whichever side you fall on, at least Joe Biden will continue to be entertaining.