Thursday, September 30, 2004

Live from the Windy City: My Running Diary of the First Presidential Debate

Finally, another plum opportunity for a running diary. Thanks to the magic of politics and TiVo, here we go…

8pm CST: And we’re live from "the U" in Coral Gables, FL! I didn’t realize there were any free-standing buildings left in Miami, but Jim Lehrer is moderating, John Kerry is looking wooden (in color, not posture), and W is looking spry. Keep it clean, boys, and come out fighting! Let’s get it on! All we're missing is Mills Lane.

8:03pm: Whenever John Kerry begins to speak, I just assume he’s about to recite the Gettysburg Address. I guess it’s his voice. Or the fact that he looks and sounds like one of those animatronic guys from the Hall of Presidents at Epcot.

8:09pm: Did you just hear W say "vociferously?" I think I'm having a stroke.

8:10pm: John Kerry will "hunt down and kill the terrorists wherever they are." Well, crap, he’s running for the wrong position! Let’s just nominate him Secretary of the Department of Bounty Hunting and get this Osama Bin Laden thing over with once and for all.

8:12pm: Did you know that John Kerry served in combat? I can’t believe we went twelve minutes before he mentioned it.

8:13pm: Following up on Kerry’s recent nomination to the position of Secretary of the Department of Bounty Hunting, he just told the whole world that Osama Bin Laden is in Afghanistan. Well, shit, what are we waiting for? Apparently he’s known all along! Go get him, John!

8:16pm: When did it become September the 11th? Does that make today September the 30th? Or does something horribly tragic have to happen to make a date a proper noun? Someone contact the MLA on this one.

8:20pm: How do you think John Kerry got an appointment with the same orthodontist that all the cartoon super-heroes use? Did Superman cancel on a cleaning? Anyhow, you have to give him credit—the man sports some pretty spectacular chompers. Looks like Buzz Lightyear.

8:26pm: Apparently, W plans on bringing our troops home from Iraq when the new Iraqi president calls him to confirm that "there’s stability and they’re on their way to a nation that’s free." Which one, Israel? The UAE? I’d get the hell out of there too. Everyone’s trying to kill each other.

8:30pm: Well, we’ve officially hit the 30-minute mark, and John Kerry has officially not looked at the camera yet. Maybe Jim Lehrer’s eyes are just that captivating. The funny thing is that ABC keeps switching camera angles on him so that they might catch a look or two, but he keeps shifting to look somewhere else. This little cat-and-mouse game could entertain me for at least 20 more minutes.

8:45pm: I had no idea that John Kerry served in Vietnam. Did you?

8:52pm: Well, at least W is consistent about Kerry’s inconsistency. Move along, George. We get the point.

9:00pm: 60 minutes in, and ABC hasn’t caught Kerry looking yet! Game on!

9:03pm: Finally, after a full hour, we get our first (and second) "nuculers" from W. As if he feels guilty for forcing us to wait so long, W throws us a bone by bookending his nuculers with two "moo-luhs." It was worth the wait.

9:09pm: So W spearheaded a plan to donate $200 million to the genocide victims in the Sudan. Now I’m no expert on foreign policy, and I certainly don’t know crap about politics in Africa. But if you’re in the middle of a genocide, and 50,000 people are dead, and a million more are homeless, what do you possibly buy with two hundred million dollars? Oh, that’s right. Guns.

9:13pm: In a rare moment of tenderness between the two candidates, W reveals that he’s "tryin’ to put a leash on" his twin daughters. Everyone keep an eye on Kazaa for that mpeg!

9:15pm: John Kerry proclaims: "I have never wilted in my life." I think after four hours, you’re supposed to consult a physician.

9:18pm: Just when you thought W couldn’t top the "nuculer mooluh" quiniella, he outdoes himself with his explanation of a security initiative that "disrupts the trans-shipment of information and/or weapons of mass destruction materials, and we’re been effective." My grammar-check is absolutely flabbergasted.

9:22pm: George is rolling now. Add "Vlattimer" to the W-lexicon, baby. As soon as Vlattimer is elected nuculer moolah and begins vociferously trans-shipping WMDs to evildoers around the world, we’ll know that W was right all along.

9:26pm: Finally, in the 86th minute of this debate, John Kerry decides to look into the camera. I guess he was building anticipation toward the big finish.

9:27pm: Had you heard that John Kerry was in Vietnam? I didn’t realize he was a veteran.

9:30pm: Apparently Kerry was willing to concede defeat in the battle of whose hot daughters would show up at the end of the show. It’s kind of like Wheel of Fortune when they bring the rest of the family up to hug and kiss Pat Sajak as the credits roll. Exactly what obligation did the Kerry girls have to attend that caused them to miss this event? Very iffy. Another poor showing for the Kerry girls. After the debacle at the VMAs, I thought they’d be looking to make a statement.

Well, after a fun-filled evening of John Kerry being inconsistent and George Bush being cavalier, the real winner was probably Kim Jong-Il. But if I have to, I’ll give Kerry the slight edge after Round 1. See you boys next week at Wash U!

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