My Commercial for Obama. (No Need to Pay Me Now, Barack. You Can Make Me Minister of Information If You Win.)Posted: September 10, 2008
Putting on my marketing hat, here’s the commercial I would do for Obama.
(I’m accustomed to being paid for this — and, if the Obama campaign hired me, I would insist they pay me well — but since I don’t work for them, but do want him to win, I’m throwing this their way gratis.)
The scene: an eerie twilight-zone world that is the future if McCain wins. (A somber voiceover begins, “In the year 2008, John McCain was elected President…”) Families are living in cardboard boxes, having been dispossessed of their houses. Sick and dying people are massing outside emergency rooms by the hundreds, having been turned away for lack of insurance. Everybody is shooting everybody in the street, since everyone has guns. Young women who have been raped by psychotics who should have been institutionalized (but weren’t, for lack of government mental health funding) are delivering deformed babies, because they have no choice. Old people are starving because their stock market investments tanked (due to lack of government regulation of the banking industry) and social security got privatized, and also tanked. American bombs fall on civilian neighborhoods in Tehran. Anti-American riots choke the streets of Rome, Paris, Islamabad, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Then the commercial ends with a tagline ripped from Palin:
“McCain-Palin? Thanks, but no thanks.”
In no previous presidential election do I recall the news media telling me so early, on a daily basis, how many days are left until election day. No story seems able to omit it. I have a theory to explain this, and the key word is anxiety. No matter whom you’re for this year, there’s reason to doubt that he (and/or his running mate) is up to the job.
As a nation, we are lost in the deepest part of the forest. We can be hopeful that our guy is going to be the one who can lead us out. But I’m not totally feeling it. Part of this may be dread that we’re in so deep, no one can. But part of it is the particular choice we have here. One’s old and lacking conviction (or simply rudderless in his decision-making), and the other’s inexperienced and riding a jet-stream that consists primarily of hope. I know whom I prefer – Obama. And it’s a strong preference. I just wish I had more confidence that everything’s going to get better instead of worse under him. I should probably repeat some kind of positive affirmation to myself to make the dread go away.
One glass-half-full way to look at it is that whoever is our president next, he won’t be George Bush. Other than that, all that’s certain is that as of the night of November 4, John McCain or Barack Obama is going to be president-elect. I picture myself late on election night hearing that the winner is Obama, and I’m celebrating. I’m screaming with joy. I’m ecstatic, no question about it. But I’m also going, “Sure hope we didn’t just make a big mistake.”
With this much in the balance, it’s no wonder we’re obsessed with how many days are left. I find myself wanting to buy more time, but the calendar is inexorable. Care to see a constantly-ticking clock telling how much time remains down to the second? Click here.
It’s clear from the final night of the Republican Convention that John McCain is going to be relying heavily on his emotionally potent POW story this fall. Here is how Obama should respond:
“I honor the sacrifice John McCain made. But let’s not lose sight of an important fact. The suffering he endured was in a war that should not have been fought. The Vietnam War was a bad war, a war that tragically wasted American lives for no good end. It shouldn’t have happened, and if it hadn’t, John McCain would not have been put through hell. And that’s why I’m running for president — to make sure that if any American is put through hell in war again, it’s in a war we must fight.”
Here’s a cute coupla minutes of video from a Wonkette operative, taped in the CNN Grill during and after Palin’s speech. The Daily Show‘s John Oliver turns up at about :50, and then a yellow lab has something to say. (CNN, as it did in Denver, paid big bucks to convert an existing restaurant within the security perimeter in its own image. St. Paul’s CNN Grill was, and is now again, the Eagle Street Grill.)
Obama, in an attempt to diminish the impact of Sarah Palin’s speech, is saying it was written for her by “George Bush’s speechwriter.” I don’t have enough information to dispute that, but I do wonder why, if this is so, I’ve never heard George Bush give a speech as good.
If she wrote her speech, or the best parts of it, as logic seems to say, that doesn’t make her qualified to be vice-president or president. But it sure as heck means it’s a mistake to underestimate her.
Mickey Kaus has good advice for the Obama campaign: Forget Palin. Go after McCain. They can beat McCain.