Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thoughts on the Big Day

Well, today's the big day, finally. Voters in Pennsylvania end our seemingly interminable primary drought and go vote today. It's about time. At least for the next few days we'll have never ending post-election analysis instead of never ending pre-election analysis and attacks by the candidates. I'm not saying it's ideal, but it is an improvement.

Speaking of improvements, the Clinton campaign lately has taken spin to an entirely new level. I'd always thought of spin as the art of taking something that wasn't so good and making it seem not that bad. I think that's the common understanding. But Clinton lately seems to have taken it to mean completely reversing yourself and previous statements you made in order to seize a small moment to attack your opponent. Consider two instances from the last few days.

First, Clinton runs an ad quoting Harry Truman saying if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Essentially it's a knock on Obama for (rightly) saying that the last debate was a ridiculous excuse to bash him on inconsequential issues. But Hillary is saying that he's weak and if he complains about getting questions like that, he's probably not ready to be president. But wait. As just about everyone in the world has pointed out, Hillary has spent the last month of more complaining about how unfairly she's been treated in the debates. But Obama's the one who needs to get out of the kitchen?

In the same vein, Obama made the unspeakable error of saying in a speech that John McCain would be a better president than George W. Bush has been (and, incidentally, that both Democrats would be better than McCain). Clinton jumped on this saying (I swear), "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain. And I will be that nominee." Seriously? As John Dickerson and (again) pretty much everyone in the world has pointed out, isn't this the same Hillary who was saying that McCain was more ready to be president than Obama? I mean, at least Obama had the decency to say that the Democrats are better than the Republican.

Again, spin is being radically re-defined here before our very eyes. After months of hearing how Clinton will say absolutely anything to get elected she hands the proof right to us. It kills me that she's probably going to win Pennsylvania anyway.

On an unrelated note, the presidential candidates made guest spots on WWE Raw last night. Click here to read the comments by Clinton and Obama. Both are unintentionally funny, though for different reasons. Clinton falls into the obviously trying to hard camp with comments like "from the opening bell" and "go to the mat for you." I get it. You're on a wrestling show using wrestling lingo. I still don't think you should be president. Obama, on the other hand, stays admirably clear of all that. However, he doesn't seem to understand that his standard call for seizing a historic opportunity and ending business-as-usual in Washington may not resonate especially well with the 12-year-old boys who watch wrestling instead of doing their homework on Monday night.

Also, do you remember when it was surprising that Bill Clinton appeared on such a lowbrow network as MTV? How things have changed.

No comments: