August 28, 2008

I'm Running For President. Of Bitterland.

A few weeks back, I did a little political pulse check to see what you were thinking, to see what the buzz was. I got a lot of good, interesting responses. Now, despite all the political goodness that's transpired over the past week, can you believe I haven't mentioned it? It's like Amy Winehouse (I really need to find someone new to pick on) going a week without picking up the crack pipe that's right in front of her. But I have been paying attention. And here's what I've picked up:

I. Obama picked his new BFF
Last Saturday, around 3:00 in the morning, the Obama campaign shot out text messages revealing that Joe Biden, the Senior Senator from Delaware, would be Obama's running mate. I was not up at three but, three hours later when I rolled downstairs to hook up the IV coffee drip leaving my hands free to play "princess" with Mia - which involves me either playing the role of the Grand Duke and retrieving Cinderella's lost slipper or has me donning one of Beth's old nightgowns to actually be Cinderella and no before you ask there will be no pictures - I certainly found out as the announcement was everywhere. I was a bit taken aback at first. I love Biden but he sure has a mouth on him. He's a plain-spoken, very bright guy who takes no prisoners verbally and is politically shrewd. He's always been one of my favorite guys in politics. But is he an asset or a liability?

II. The Democratic National Convention kicked off
On the heels of the Olympics, the Democratic National Convention kicked off on Monday. I have to admit that, in this day and age, I'm not entirely clear what it's purpose is. These folks might as well just take off their clothes and pleasure themselves and, possibly each other because that, at its very core, is what it seems to be all about. It's politics at its most masturbatory. And from what I can tell, there's no consistent message beyond the refrain of we suck less. That's hardly inspiring.

III. The Clintons are kinda assholes
Aside from their performances - and please don't think these speeches are anything but carefully orchestrated, committee-written performances - which were well-delivered, Bill and Hillary have kinda come off like second graders who were kicked out of the sandbox. They have this really odd inability to play nice unless there's something in it for them. That said, both Bill and Hillary's speeches were utterly brilliant. But still, a message to the Clintons: This is not about you anymore than it is about me and I don't see any members of the press camping out on my front lawn so shut your yaps (unless you want to make speeches like you have over the last two days) and play nice.

IV. Political coverage in this country sucks donkey balls
Say what you want about the cult of Tim Russert but when he died we lost one of the last good political analysts left in this country. Or at least the last one on a major television network. What we're left with is a bunch of know-nothing hacks with some minor exceptions. I dig Keith Olberman but his partner in crime this week - Chris Matthews - doesn't seem to be able to spit out a complete sentence. Wolf Blitzer just cracks me up, all serious in his situation room. Anne Curry is just a travesty; she managed to corral Jimmy Carter, fresh off the stage, into an interview and closed with a pat on the shoulder saying "you look well." It was cringeworthy, something you say to an Alzheimer's-ridden grandfather.

I realize I sound bitter. I'm not. Not really. It's just that the mistakes the Democratic party is making are just so obvious and so avoidable. Where's the consistent message? Where's the challenge to the opponent over issues? I will proudly wear my Obama shirt and spread the message. I just hope that that shirt turns out to be more valuable than the John Kerry hat I bought four years ago.

I ask you - regardless of your political leanings, what do you see happening? How will this play out? Was Biden the right choice? Who would have been better? And does Obama have a shot? Could I ask more questions? Do these pants make my ass look big?

Posted by Chris at August 28, 2008 6:38 AM

High five on tagging the Clinton's perfectly!! Being a "new" Democrat I am not as familiar with Biden, so not sure if he's good for Obama or not.

I was a little dissapointed with the 3am email. I thought I was special getting the notice from the O-man himself (ha!), but obviously, I didn't relay that I would be SLEEPING at that time. I mean, what was the point of texting and emailing it if it was 3 am????

Posted by: Debbie at August 28, 2008 7:04 AM

I am not sure of Obama's choice either. Biden reminds me of Wilhelm von Homburg, the guy who played Vigo in the first GhostBusters movie.

Posted by: Josh at August 28, 2008 7:17 AM

I'd never heard of Biden, but there's a pretty obvious reason for that ;) His name kinda makes me think of bidet though.
Also, your ass looks great in those pants and you know it ;)

Posted by: Heather at August 28, 2008 7:31 AM

I actually didn't watch any of the convention (and I'm an Obama supporter)- instead got pissed last night thinking they were going to preempt Project Runway with their Convention Update (on Bravo? I don't know what the hell i was thinking, but I was tremendously concerned about missing PR... Fantastic, right?).

Posted by: Sarah at August 28, 2008 8:03 AM

I actually hadn't heard that Obama had picked a vp yet. That's interesting news, indeed. I was listening to 98 Rock this morning (I duno if you get 98 Rock where you are or not), and Mickey was pointing out some interesting points about some mistakes that the democrats were making. But of course that was at 6 this morning, and the coffee hadn't kicked in yet. I made a point to try and remember them, but yeah. That didn't happen. I do think Obama has a shot; about as much of a shot as McCain has. I'm kind of hoping for Colbert to get into office still, personally.

Posted by: secha at August 28, 2008 8:10 AM

I went to my first rally a in 2000. I will never forget because when I left I felt like it was kinda creepy. Like church. I mean, they know you're probably on their team if you're there... right? Once you get past the creepy, preaching to the choir thing... well, that never goes away.

What it ultimately provided me with were contacts so I could volunteer and get involved.

I love Biden. I never thought he'd get chosen because he comes with no electoral map help. So I like the choice because it seems based on getting a guy who could step in and be president, not just winning southern states. I hope his mouth is refreshing and not a liability.

Political coverage totally sucks, you're dead on. Also, the way you summed up the Clintons was perfection. Although if you ever get a chance to see Bill speak in person, it's even more amazing. He oozes charisma.

I hope Obama has a shot. I'm going to be dashing from school to get to his speech tonight and I can't wait:)

Also, your ass looks HUGE.

Posted by: sunshine at August 28, 2008 8:21 AM

You should find the 21 page article on politico about how badly Clinton messed up her campaign.

And I know the conventions are such a dog and pony show, but they are like my olympics. I've been up every night to midnight watching the coverage. I'm such a dork.

Posted by: jodifur at August 28, 2008 8:24 AM

For the first time ever, I have to disagree with you. This convention, while perhaps not speaking to your heart or beliefs (though I know you support Obama), has ignited nothing but passion in mine. While I could do without the akward dancing in between every speaker, I think the DNC is setting out what it needs to do. It's trying to unify and Bill's stamp of approval was necessary. Bill reminds us of better times and that we won't have them again if we don't elect Obama.

As for Biden -- I think he's a great choice. Yes, he talks WAY too much. But, he's smart, he knows the "system" and isn't necessarily a part of it. Other than the plagarism thing a million years ago, he's practically beyond reproach. He gives experience and credibility to Obama's ticket.

I don't usually comment this much, but this is how fired up I am about the DNC. I'm inspired, I'm hopeful, I can see through the bull-crap, but I think all this rah-rah-rah needs to be done for the people who don't follow politics closely or think beyond what the pundits tell them.

Stepping off my soap box now...

Posted by: Robyn at August 28, 2008 8:33 AM

You missed the Obama Girl- wasn't she slated to be at the convention too? Guess they do have "clothes off" and "pleasure" covered after all.

And sorry dude those pants don't make your ass look bigger but Beth's nightgown does.

Posted by: jessica at August 28, 2008 8:36 AM

I concur with all your observations and share your worries. I am fearful the Dems will blow it in the end, again, somehow.

Posted by: Shelly at August 28, 2008 8:42 AM

Other than Bill Richardson, I can't think of anyone more qualified than Joe. Except for the old plagiarism thing, he's scandal free, intelligent, and relatively fearless. He's a contemporary of McCain which should help. If we wait for the perfect candidate, we'll wait forever.Sure, Senator Biden puts his foot in his mouth from time to time but I think that makes him human, not stupid.

Joe was number 3 on my list when he was still a presidential candidate (behind Kucinich and Richardson). None of them stood a chance of course. The media saw to that with the debates where they were all but ignored. No wonder people don't know who Joe Biden is.

As for MSNBC, they lost me to CSPAN on the second day when it became obvious they were more interested in talking to each other than they were convention coverage. I wrote and told them so when they skipped right over the 6 or 7 women Senators, a few Congresswomen, and 2 or 3 female governors who each spoke briefly on Tuesday. I sat there with tears in my eyes thinking of how far we've come just in the time I've been around.

And how far we have to go.

We have a chance to at least try to recover from the last 8 years. We can't do it without winning not only the Presidential election but races for the Senate and House as well. That will not happen if we don't stop sniping at each other and focus on the target. We Democrats are notorious for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory and it has to stop. Otherwise we'll have a Bush clone in the White House and another four years of misery.

Would I have preferred Senator Clinton? Yes. Am I going to sit out the election or vote against my own interests? Hell, no!! I'll be out there talking, writing letters, and doing what I can.

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 28, 2008 9:03 AM

No. Your fat ass makes the pants look fat.

Biden is an intresting choice that I think really makes sense on many levels. Biden although from Del. a small state, does carry a national recognition that some of Obama's other choices do not have. I do not think that Biden will like being second fiddle and may only last one term as VP. That being said if he does stick around the dem race in 2016 will be very interesting with Biden vs. Hillary.

The politcal coverage in this country is completely biased and ridiculas. But I do not blmae NBC, Fox, CBS, and Abc..they are out to get ratings just like newspapers are trying to seel their rags...they go with what sells. I blame the American people for actually listening to katie Couric and believing any that comes out of her mouth as gospell. We do need a better system for speading govt news (not opinion) in this country and I think we should go back to the Town Crier. "Hear ye, Hear Ye. Dems message is We Suck Less. Hear Ye Hear Ye."

Posted by: William at August 28, 2008 9:04 AM

I have no idea about any of it. Living in Philly, Biden is a hero because he is kinda sorta a hometown boy. And we have very few Republicans so it seems like everyone everywhere is going to vote for the Dem ticket. Everyone here was so shocked when Kerry lost the last election because we totally think that the world stops at the city limits.

I like the political coverage on PBS because they actually show the speakers, not reporters talking to reporters about what is going on with the speaker in the background. Weird, I know.

And your butt looks a little bit big, but I think it is your butt making your butt look big. The pants are innocent bystanders.

Posted by: lora at August 28, 2008 9:06 AM

P.S. - sorry

I went back and reread your great post but I must take issue (politely of course because that's how I am) with one thing you said.

"But still, a message to the Clintons: This is not about you anymore than it is about me".

Chris, it is about you. It's also about me and my kids (in my case kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids). It's about all the kids. It's about their future and ensuring they have one.

Nothing could be more important than the world we leave for them.

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 28, 2008 9:13 AM

I can't think of a better choice for Veep. I live on the Eastern Shore (in MD tho) and Biden has been great for Delaware. He's down to earth and a real "in the trenches" type person. Yes, he has a habit of speaking his mind, but geez! Better that - at least you know he's human and genuine- than the canned speeches so many give (i.e. let my staff get back to you with the number of houses I own!).

Not to mention, other than the fact that he's just plain likeable, he's got excellent experience as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and also has past Security Committee experience as well. He brings a lot to the table.

I was afraid Obama would *not* pick him because he is a 6 term Senator, and Republicans would throw that in his face re: the Dem cronyism issue.

I'm glad Biden is on the ticket, very glad!

Posted by: 3jaysmom at August 28, 2008 9:17 AM

Funny you mention the ego stroking... I turned to Forrest last night and said it was awkward, like watching someone getting a hand job. All the ego stroking was just too much for me...

Posted by: Corinne at August 28, 2008 9:23 AM

I'm a registered Republican, but I like Obama. I like Biden even more. As for the Clintons, I couldn't agree more. I don't think they even realize how obnoxious they are--or maybe they do and enjoy fooling everyone. I seriously don't understand why people like either of them.

I hope Obama will win, but I don't trust Americans to make the right choice.

Posted by: Darren at August 28, 2008 9:28 AM

I'm still clinging to the Clintons. They're the only thing I've been able to stand about the DNC. The Obamas are doing less and less to prove to me that I should vote for Obama. In fact, Hillary's speech was the first time in this whole mess that I've been compelled to vote for Barack. But that euphoric moment only lasted as long as the end of her speech and then the thing was over and I remembered that Obama is not my candidate. Plain and simple.

Then again, neither is McCain.

I think I'm going to write in Dumbledore in November.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at August 28, 2008 9:29 AM

I completely agree with you on your criticism of the political coverage. We've been watching it on MSNBC, because heaven forbid the major network's actually cover it instead of Deal or No Deal. Matthews can spit out a sentence, he just unfortunately has to also spit out real spit at the same time. I once watched a thimble-sized drop of spittle drip down his chin in abject horror. And will someone please tell him yellow hair (not blond) and a red face do not look good!

And Ann Curry...just don't get me started.

Thank god for Rachel Maddow. That's all I can say.

Posted by: Candy at August 28, 2008 9:42 AM

Man, I know, I have an excellent Kerry tee-shirt collecting dust in my closet. I didn't bother to buy one this time around. I think Obama has a good shot though, mostly because I think Americans are willing to give any non-Republican a chance!

Posted by: Katie at August 28, 2008 9:56 AM

I have been up every night watching the DNC, aren't you impressed?? With that in mind, I knew relatively little about Joe Biden before he was named the VP Nominee and I gotta say, he's a hell of a choice for Obama. He seems to be well loved throughout Washington by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle (IMPORTANT), and he just seems like a stand up guy all around. His Son's intro last night had me a little teary, but that could be all of the pregnancy hormones that refuse to organize themselves into productive labor hormones.


There is an actual reason people refer to the "Clinton Machine." Enough said? No? Ok, I thought it was a little dangerous for Obama to even put Hillary's name on the ballot because if anyone could backdoor her way into the nomination, it would have been Hillary Clinton. I'll admit, I tuned in yesterday just in case.

I won't mention the network I'm watching for the majority of my political coverage, and I will tell you that if you tuned in you might be SHOCKED at the astute political observation and actual fair coverage. Say what you will about the network's tendencies overall, but I do believe they have a strong Washington bureau. Barring cable, I tend to tune into ABC.

Posted by: chatty cricket at August 28, 2008 9:58 AM

Hey Fat Ass,

I felt Russert's absence from the first gavel. But you're missing the upside. Thanks to Blitzer and Curry and Matthews I don't have to wait for Jon Stewart to come on to laugh hysterically at the news.

And really, didn't NBC already lower the bar for you when they had Matt Lauer doing the color commentary on the Beijing Opening Ceremony? First time in my life I ever said "This would have been better if they got Joan Rivers."

Posted by: Marshall at August 28, 2008 10:54 AM

I was surprised that they went with Biden, actually, although he does have more experience than Tim Kaine or Evan Bayh, and they certainly could not have gone with Sebelius without alienating all of the Hillary supporters. I guess they think Biden will answer the "Obama has no experience" critics.

I am so frustrated with the Democrats right now. They are not getting their message across. They don't even seem to be trying. Obama better give one hell of a speech tonight and then both of them need to get out on the campaign trail and start attacking George Bush and all the failed Republican policies and showing how they will fix things. I mean look at the state of this country! They should be waltzing in to the White House instead of having to fight for it. I kind of blame Nancy Pelosi, who has accomplished nothing since the Democrats took control of the House.

Oh, and the political coverage does suck donkey balls. I didn't even like Tim Russert all that much, but now I miss him.

Posted by: bad penguin at August 28, 2008 10:58 AM

Surprisingly, I've had a very busy week. Haven't had the time to watch much. Caught Hillary's speech, Beau and Joe Biden's and the roll call. Saw most of Bill's speech online and a tidbit from John Kerry.

What little news coverage I saw seemed superficial and stupid.

Totally agree with you on message. It's the one area that the GOP kills us on and they can have their party, but they need to get their crap together. You have to outline your message/say this is what we stand for and this is what we are going to do and drill home the differences.

I feel the GOP is going to do what they always do, drudge up wedge issues. I feel they will try to paint Obama in a bad light. If it sticks, I feel we are doomed despite the economy, Iraq and such as McCain is still going to get certain votes.

Barack has to stay on message and hit back each and every time that he's attacked and promptly.

Attending the blogger party in downtown Denver tonight and I have lots to do. Hoping it's not as crazy as I think it's going to be to get down there and back.

Posted by: One Moms Opinion at August 28, 2008 11:22 AM

I can't watch political commentary. I, too, am an Olberman fan, but I just don't want to hear anymore about the process or those involved in the process or what a study of their garbage turned up this morning, etc. I like both candidates, honestly. It seems to me, however, that such a thing is verboten. You have to love one and hate the other; black and white (HA!). Over-analysis is the enemy of independent thought (or something) and the level of saturation almost seems to ensure that people will do as they're told rather than what they believe.

MSNBC is as close as I'll get to any coverage and only because I like Tom Brokaw. CNN is a travesty (Wolf Blitzer needs to be aborted) and Fox News is Fox News and unworthy of consideration.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 28, 2008 11:22 AM

I'm so glad that the world outside of Arkansas has a few souls in it that can see through the Clintons . . . But in a sea of the same, it also hardly matters, ya know?

Every move the Democratic Party has made lately has made me worry just a bit more that they may actually blow this. Remember the Monty Python bit the twit olympics? Yeah, that's what the whole thing looks like to me. It's not just the political coverage that blows, it's the subject matter, too.

So apparently, I'm running against you for the Bitterland title . . .

Posted by: OS at August 28, 2008 12:43 PM

I'm glad Hillary spoke. She represented my vote. Had she been excluded, I would have been too. Barack voters need Hillary voters if they want to see Barack elected. If Obama were to exclude Clinton and claim a mandate based on the tight vote for the nomination, it's the same as when George W. Bush claimed a mandate for himself right after he came in 2nd to Al Gore in 2000. When you exclude the other side, it breeds resentment. If Obama can't reach out to the Clinton side, then it's a joke to suggest he can reach out to the Republican side in Washington. The way to get things done in Washington is through inclusion rather than exclusion. Obama may be at the top of the ticket, but all of us will have to have a hand in his election.

Posted by: James Proffitt at August 28, 2008 1:17 PM

The Boy is finally cynical, much to my dismay. My sweet, Nader-2000-voting husband turned to me and said, "Everything that Obama was supposed to stand for at the beginning of all this, hope for change, no war, all of it, is negated by Biden. He's all that Obama's been yelling against. Obama's just another politician."

I got him a slice of carrot cake to console him. Any other advice? I can explain death to a four-year-old! Why not this?

Posted by: alektra at August 28, 2008 3:07 PM

I haven't read all the comments here so I don't know if anyone has my sentiments or not. I don't feel qualified to make a judgement on Biden. I don't know much about him other than what was covered last night at the DNC. As for the Clintons, specifically Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed his speech last night. If the friggin media wasn't constantly forcing their loaded questions, I think Bill would have rave reviews from last night. C'mon, the morning after Hillary's speech they had an FBI analyst analyzing her body language. Is this really all we have time for?

Posted by: hibyscus at August 28, 2008 5:36 PM

well i about died when they played 'love train'..but thats just me.
taylors been watching it all week on PBS. we're in canada so no one else is really covering it except in the news national pieces.

Posted by: cri at August 28, 2008 5:47 PM

Not that I would have been caught dead voting for McCain, but the choice of Biden as Veep lands my vote solidly in the Obama Camp (it was always there – but now I truly feel okay about it). I commented here before that I had the privilege of meeting all of the original Democratic Candidates last summer – Biden impressed me so much that if I thought it would have mattered, I would have voted for him (instead of Hillary). He even sent me a personal note after the event thanking me for the key lime pie I found for him. His staff was the best to work with, the easiest to work with and the nicest overall.

Hands down I miss Russert. I’m seriously ill listening to the crap pouring out of these people’s mouths. And not just political analysts – I wanted to scream last week while watching the Olympics and the analyst kept saying that the athlete was representing the “nation of Africa.” Actually, I did scream and threw sharp objects at my television. This is part of the dumbing of America cause I’ll bet quite a few people believe that shit.

My biggest Obama-fear is that the country will face the Bradley effect again…here’s to hoping that this fear goes unrealized.

Posted by: Melissa at August 28, 2008 7:30 PM

I think Biden was a bad pick.

I'm also hoping my Romney tshirt will be relevant this election. We'll find out Friday.

Posted by: coolchick at August 28, 2008 9:30 PM

By this time I am SO sick of all of it I want to throw up. I stand on my idea of leaving the job unfilled! I am sick to death of this long ass political year...I like the way you put IS like verbal masturbation! Or who can really pee the farthest...just bring the taxes down that are killing the middle class and lets do some thing novel...MAKE some thing in THIS country instead of out sourcing our very livelihood AND leave the bloody oil alone under the water and Alaska! Shit! The minute smart people start to move on making a difference in going green Big Dub starts the crunch (He is a oil man after all) and suddenly oil is NOT as expensive and oh gee look gas is under $4.90 a gallon! Why? Because people with great idea's were just told to shut up because the fat kats loose if we actually make it to where we don't need the old crap...oops I think I just did a rant.

However, I would love to see you in Beth's old nightie playing dress up with Mia! LOL A real man! I love that can play with their kids! : D

Posted by: Gypsy at August 29, 2008 12:18 AM

No your ass looks fine!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 29, 2008 9:17 AM

I think Obama will most certainly win- especially after McCain picked his VP. Still before then I also thought the same. I'm a republican, by the way, who is voting for Obama.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at August 30, 2008 4:35 PM

If I was an American I would be a total democrat (although in Canada I am more on the conservative or republican side - we need some serious changes up here); but I can not help but notice that the Obama-Binden combo sounds a little too much like Osama Bin Laden to me...... just found it odd.

Posted by: SleepyNita at August 31, 2008 11:34 PM

I see it being a tight race, maybe of Y2k proportions.
I do not know how this will play out but in light of current developments (Palin, which I'm sure you address in later post but I'm behind, ok, leave me alone, I can't help it, this is all so hard, you just don't understand me! sorry.) I am sure this will be an interesting election!
I personally don't like Biden, he seems like a dick, but I think he puts the Dem. ticket in balance.
I don't know who would have been better. I think a lot of peeps were hoping for Hillary, but that would've isolated Obama, IMO.
I think he has a real shot.
Yes, if you were 3.
No, your ass looks great.

Posted by: mymilabean at September 1, 2008 10:12 PM