October 4, 2012
Last night's first presidential debate ratified several predictions I made in an op-ed piece published Oct. 3: Both men would wear dark suits and white shirts. Romney capitulated to the red power tie. And Pres. Obama was so fatigued from his day job that he practically phoned in his answers. What I forgot to mention was this country's inability to find a better campaign model than spending hundreds of millions on confetti-and-balloon events, private jets, dramatic TV ads et al. We have term limits and certain campaign regulations. We need more. In the beginning, only landowners could vote. Then only men. Finally, women defeated disenfranchisement but minorities are still struggling. If the U.S. electorate accomplished all this, surely they can come up with better ways to get the candidates' messages out than hoopla and nitpicking. Because by now everything's been said, muddled over, obfuscated. I didn't come away from the debate with any clearer picture of tax and Medicare propsals that beforehand. I need a chart or a PowerPoint, facts or the truth. Nobody speaks the truth without a self-serving spin. Very worrisome, also, than an election can be decided on a candidate's demeanor or how many hours he spent debate-training. That said, whatever Mitt Romney was drinking last night, fix me a double.