Friday, January 04, 2008

Obama-nation, Caucases, and Chuck Norris' White Teeth

The Iowa Caucus happened last night, and one thing was clear: America has never been more divided. Sure, all the candidates and pundits are pointing to change as the overriding theme in Thursday's political event, but I see it differently. Never have the frontrunners for each party been more different than Huckabee and (my man) Obama. Huckabee is a conservative Baptist preacher from the south. Obama is a liberal black man from the north. And that doesn't include the issues, but who has time for that?

As I stated before, Obama is my candidate-of-choice. I am so excited about his eight-point win over Edwards (nine over Clinton). My hope is that he carries this momentum to New Hampshire in separating himself from the field on his way to the White House.

One thing that I noticed in the speeches last night is that Obama was the one candidate who made me think "President". Edwards, McCain, Clinton, and others
had supporters crowded onto a stage behind them. Obama came out with his partner Michelle (Fierce!) and daughters (cute-as-buttons) before holding down the stage himself with supporters well behind him. He then proceeded to give a stirring speech that could only give goose bumps. Sure, he was nonspecific on the issues, but consider the audience. The American voter is simple and needs to be inspired, moved to support this man. He is our JFK and MLK wrapped into one presidential package.

The other "winner" was conservative, Republican, Baptist preacher/Arakansas governor Mike Huckabee. Like many of the other candidates, Huckabee was surrounded on stage with supporters, but one man and his abnormally white teeth stood out: Chuck Norris. Yes, that Chuck Norris. Someone made sure that Mr. Norris' perfectly store-bought smile was right behind his buddy Huck, in plain sight for us all to see. The cameras rarely focused on Huck's rather tall, distinguished wife, but were sure to feature Chuck and his hot partner just behind Thursday's winner. Seeing Walker Texas Ranger backing Mike Huckabee almost made me question all my political beliefs.

Moving on to the caucuses themselves (I giggle every time I say or type that word), this has got to be the most bizarre pieces to our governmental puzzle (aside from the straw poles). We watched C-Span (1 & 2) while waiting for some results. The Republicans and Democrats showed just how fundamentally different they are just in the way they conducted the caucuses (hee hee).

We flipped over to the Republican caucus to find some teen-aged girl singing a dreadful version of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" (as if that song could be anymore awful). Then, several speakers talked about delegates and giving money for "pencils, pens, and paper". That was it. There were no heated debates over republican candidates, no chants for "no new taxes", and no calls for "four more years". Basically, much like the Grand Ole Party itself, there was no political discourse, just business as usual.

After nearly falling asleep watching the Republicans, we found the other C-Span station to watch the Dems in their "process". It was chaos to say the least, but way more fascinating. People were grouping together in support of their candidates only to realize that their crew wasn't big enough and had to quickly run to their second choice's camp. (Needless to say, Dennis Kucinich did not fair well.) Then, party leaders had to devise on-the-spot methods of counting heads. As a elementary educator myself, I thought they needed to have seats to sit on once they had been counted, but whatever. It was democratic chaos at its finest.

Besides C-Span, we watched the "news" networks of CNN and Fox.

On Fox, pundits argued that the Dems' process was a sham. They claimed that they had sources who confirmed that here was vote-trading among the candidates' supporters, so the results were skewed...well, no more skewed that the elections in 2000 and 2004. They failed to notice that the Republicans had little or no debates, used secret ballots to choose their candidate, and the party reported the results themselves to the media. How are we to trust these results are any more legitimate than the Democrats' results? But that's Fox "News" for you: fairly balanced (to the right).

CNN was much better. They had numerous pundits who really didn't know anything. We wondered if somewhere in CNN headquarters there is a room in the basement where they store all these talking heads to come out and say nothing for the cameras. On top of this, Anderson Cooper had some distracting toy where he seemed to control a virtual pie chart that floated in the air just above a placard he held just in front of the pundit's heads.

This was not all. According to one CNN talker (the "lovable curmudgeon" I believe), "Obama is articulate..."

That's right. Barack Obama has done alright for a black guy. I kept waiting for CNN heads to report that Clinton is uppity and Edwards is a little light in the loafers. Nice job. CNN proves why so many prefer to read the Times or blogs as opposed to watching the crap their shoveling on cable TV.

Thankfully John Stewart and Steven Colbert return Monday to make sense...or nonsense of it all. In the meantime, I'll relish in Obama's victory and hope that 2008 turns out better than the last eight years.

1 comment:

Mom said...

After reading your blog, I'm glad I didn't bother with any of the tv coverage. As I flipped through channels though, I did catch a glimpse of Chuck Norris on the stage behind Huckabee and wondered what the hell he was doing there! I think I will just continue to read your blog to keep up with the campaign - it is insightful and entertaining. Thanks!