Various and Sundry Debate Thoughts

The Two Joe’s

The McCain campaign has introduced us to two Joe’s recently. There is Sarah Palin’s Joe Sixpack and now we have John McCain’s Joe the Plumber.   An MSNBC pundit last night wondered aloud why the two didn’t seem to resonate the same way.

The answer is simple. When we hear “Joe Sixpack” we imagine a middle aged paunchy, possibly unemployed (or at least underemployed), probably alcoholic average schlub.  He is the poor working stiff who needs advocacy from the likes of Sarah Palin. Powerful image. On the other hand, when is the last time you had to pay a plumber? Their hourly rate rivals that of doctors! Sorry …. Joe the Plumber has nothing to complain about, other than paying his fair share of taxes, which he told Barack Obama he doesn’t want to do.

Is Trig Palin Autistic?

Apparently, John McCain thinks so! After citing his running mate Sarah Palin’s affinity for children with special needs, he launched into some gobbledygook about research into autism. I guess someone needs to tell John that Palin’s youngest child, Trig, has Down’s Syndrome. In fact, it is impossible to diagnose autism in infants as the signs of autism don’t manifest until later. Guess he didn’t get a chance to learn much about Trig during that one vetting interview he had with Sarah.

My Liver Ain’t Pretty Enough

While discussing platinum insurance policies, McCain mentioned coverage for “cosmetic surgery and transplants”. Now unless John was talking about hair transplants, I’m not sure how the two items go together. When was the last time you heard a patient complain that their liver just wasn’t pretty enough so they wanted a transplant for a nicer looking one?

So, Who Won?

Determining the winner of  these debates has become more of an expectations game than an objective assessment. Many conservatives thought Sarah Palin won the VP debate because she was able to get through 90 minutes sounding more or less coherent. Of course, there was no substance to any of her answers (to her own questions … the moderator was irrelevant) but all the doggone it’s and winks got her through the night.

On that scale, McCain had a good night. Conservatives wanted him to come with a fight and fight he did. Granted, his gun had blanks in it but he got off lots of shots. By that standard, conservative ideologues like Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchannan wet their pants with glee. For fans of Obama, the satisfaction came in watching the bullets bounce off Barack like so many Whammo super-balls. More than in any other debate this season, Obama looked Presidential and McCain looked like a cranky old guy being kept up past his bedtime by an insolent youth.

Unless something goes horribly awry, last night we all just watched the next President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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