Monday, October 07, 1996

The debate

The Washington Post says that Senator John McCain's job during the debates was to sit in the front row and smile the whole time, to remind Dole that he was supposed to.

Most of the immediate reaction after the debate on CNN and such seemed to be that Dole had won, evidently because he had not drooled on himself. The Post is a little less kindly, because I was wondering just what debate the tv people had just watched. To me, Dole wandered, lost track of his own thoughts and the questions, and kept bringing up things he said he wasn't bringing up, like Whitewater and Clinton's drug use. But at least he called him "Mr. President", though once too often, David Broder thinks.

The fight for the alleged political center was downright unseemly, with Dole continuing his mantra of liberal liberal liberal, which is evidently a dog that won't hunt, which is Arkansasese for am not am not am not. Clinton several times brought up the 60 new death penalties and cutting welfare and the alleged 100,000 new cops, and said the American people would judge whether that was a liberal record or a record that was good for America. Gee, Billybobbubba, what's behind door number three?

PBS provided not only dull as dirt questions from Lehrer, who is supposed to have a personality in real life, but amazingly, even duller analysis. When asked what would be remembered from the debate, Mark Shields said the part after it was over where the candidates and their families were all standing around, and Paul Gigot said just the fact that they showed up. Whatever those two are paid, it is not enough.

I regret that I didn't have the patience to hear Nader and the Libertarian and the Natural Law candidate on CNN, but they had Perot first, and after a minute, I had to lie down.

I'll conclude in the words of Robert J Dole: "Mr President, stop scaring the seniors!" Be afraid, Bob Dole, be very afraid!

P.S. The Berkeley spellchecker doesn't know the word mantra. I don't know what this place is coming to.

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