Tuesday, October 07, 2008


So I just watched the second debate between the Presidential contenders. I'm very happy that it didn't devolve into sniping about character, with references to "palling around" with terrorists and retorts about Keating. I suppose they must have agreed not to go there. Good.

Some of the questions were annoying, particularly one from the moderator, Mr. "Raucous Cacophony" Brokaw. I don't remember what it was right now, but, come on Tom.

Obama could have scored some unneeded points from me had he answered the "zen-like" question, What don't you know and how will you learn it? by starting out with a paraphrase of Mr. Rumsfeld's knowns, unknowns and unknown unknowns statement, the one that earned him so much unjust ridicule. Rumsfeld may have been a bit of an asshole, particularly towards the end, but it always annoyed me greatly to see scorn heaped on him for what was a perfectly logical statement. I wonder if Obama could have swayed some white, male fence sitters with that question by somehow working in a little defense of Rumsfeld's phrase, a bit about reaching across the aisle or something. Whatever...

Obama kind of irritated me with his insistence upon placing Osama bin Laden at the center of the terrorist question, as though killing him will be like decapitating a snake, which then dies.

McCain could have scored some needed points from me by including the useless War on Some Drugs among the things he'll be looking at in terms of cutting expenses. ONDCP apparently has a sunset clause he could decide to let go. Anti-drug resources would certainly go a long way if re-deployed for more constructive purposes.

I was glad when it was over. I felt I'd performed a civic duty in sitting through it. My vote did not change, largely because I'm furious with the Republicans, and certainly because of McCain's choice of running mate. Hockey Mom. Right. Winky dinky may I call you Joe pit bull shit artist. George Bush is an embarrassment, but I'd be mortified to have a President Palin (and it seems to be at least a 25% likelihood during the first term should the Republicans somehow win the election).

McCain's initial answer to the what don't you know question appealed to me. Nobody knows what will happen. Simple truth.

And that was that.

Raucous cacophony. I think I watched Tom Brokaw's first network piece, or one of his first, when he used that phrase in some report. He was a natural. Sounded perfect. The phrase was memorable and deliberate, and Brokaw delivered it as smoothly as can be. After the report, I think it was John Chancellor, Brokaw's senior on the broadcast, who immediately repeated the phrase with a smile of acknowledgment. He might as well have saluted Brokaw. Great television moment.

Damn, that's a long time ago!

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