Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Cabaret candidate of Super Tuesday

While I’m sure there’s many of you out there who are interested in the upcoming presidential election, I realize many of you weren’t able to stay up late last night to watch returns coming in from the Super Tuesday Republican and Democratic primaries. Since I have no life and did, I figured I’d give you a few quick impressions from all the hours and hours of fun.

John McCain pulled ahead as the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination, winning the majority of states, including New York, California, Illinois and more. While I view myself as a conservative, I’m not one of the hard-core McCain haters out there, like Ann Coulter, who said she’d vote for Hillary over McCain.

What I am is fascinated by McCain’s political rise and fall over this past year. I wrote him off months ago, as his campaign was based on the support of a war that is now incredibly unpopular even with Republicans. I really wrote him off during the backlash he took for his stance on immigration, even though I personally supported it, especially for the sake fo the landscape industry. And you’d think we’d be writing him off now because voters are tired of politics as usual in Washington, and the economy has become the number one issue. McCain, meanwhile, has been a Washington insider for decades, and still has not articulated any type of plan or leadership on the economic front.

While all of this is fascinating, it’s also moot. There’s a 99.99 percent chance that the Democrats win this election. Like Bob Dole in 1996, McCain is old. I figure Republicans are going to let him have his chance and then try to come out strong four years from now.

Now when I say the Democrats have a 99.99 percent chance of winning, that other .01 percent comes into play only if they elect Hillary Clinton, which they may be well on their way to doing. And if there’s one thing Democrats are known for, it’s pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.

Watching Hillary speak last night, I came to the realization that, believe it or not, she is actually a worse public speaker, in terms of prepared speeches, than George W. Bush. Now I should mention that without a teleprompter, most 9th grade students in speech class will do better extemporaneously than Bush.

From the very beginning of her speech when she actually seemed annoyed that the crowd wouldn’t stop cheering to the point where she started recycling old John Kerry talking points, Hillary was just awful. Here’s a tip for Hillary: If you want to sound sincere — which we know you are not, but you should at least try to act like you are — you can start by pronouncing the word “a” as “uh,” rather than “ay.” You are not the Fonz. It makes you sound stilted, pretentious and disingenuous.

Seriously, how can Democrats be considering making Hillary their nominee? They’ve spent the last eight years complaining about how the Republicans have divided the country, how they won’t work together to fix those problems facing the people of the nation. And then they are going to nominate Hillary? For eight more years of exactly the same kind of politics in Washington? Seriously?

This would be like the Republicans coming out and saying, “OK, George Bush said he was a uniter and not a divider. He didn’t really come through on that front. We can do better. We’re going to clean up Washington. We’re going to make this nation one again.” And then they elect Dick Cheney as president.

Even though I don’t necessarily agree with his politics, I do respect Barack Obama. He is a fantastic speaker. He inspires people. And he wouldn’t bring the baggage of eight years of scandal and a publicity-seeking ex-president with him into the White House.

Now my favorite part of Obama’s speech from last night was when he said, “Maybe this year, we don’t have to settle for politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems. Maybe this year, we can finally start doing something about health care we can’t afford. Maybe this year we can start doing something about mortgages we can’t pay. Maybe this year, this time, can be different.”

At this point, I pictured the lights going out, and a spotlight highlighting a silhouette of Obama, alone of the stage. And slowly, behind him, the music rises and he begins to sing:

Maybe this time, I'll be lucky
Maybe this time, he'll stay
Maybe this time
For the first time
Love won't hurry away

He will hold me fast
I'll be home at last
Not a loser anymore
Like the last time
And the time before

Everybody loves a winner
So nobody loved me;
'Lady Peaceful,' 'Lady Happy,'
That's what I long to be
All the odds are in my favor
Something's bound to begin
It's got to happen, happen sometime
Maybe this time I'll win.

(Cut to Obama’s left (camera right), and the woman behind him would be weeping uncontrollably like that girl on "American Idol" last year when Sanjaya was on.)

Did anyone else picture that, or was it just me? Maybe I’m just weird.

— Mike Seuffert (E-mail comments to

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