I don't know about the rest of you but I am of the opinion that the Democratic primary race has finally found its groove.
Way to go Pennsylvania!
In their efforts to appeal to the "common man" both Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have been out in blue collar country, which bears little if any resemblance to blue state country, trying to mix and mingle as if Saturday night honky-tonkin' comes as naturally to them as Brie.
Neither has really hit the bulls eye, but in my entirely informal and unscientific method of measurement the former First Lady and New York State Senator is way ahead of the Illinois Senator in this area.
Barack managed to lose momentum, poll points, and respect when he made the egregious error of trying to bowl with the guys, apparently having never done it for real. Or if he did, it was once and so long ago that he didn't remember how to do it. Or maybe he just watched it on television and said "Hey, I can do that. It's easy!" Yeah, that must have been it.
Hence his total score of 37 our of a possible 300. And while no one would have expected him to score a perfect game, or even bowl 200, he should at least have hit something in the mid-150s or so. But he threw gutter ball after gutter ball, and if you don't know what that means, you can't be president either!
The other thing about bowling, besides knocking down pins, is your approach to the foul line. You start several steps back, advance confidently, swing your arm back - the one holding the bowling ball - and then forward to release it in a smooth, but powerful underhand maneuver just as your get to the line.
But you are supposed to do it looking manly at the same time, not as if you are tiptoeing through the tulips. Barack didn't quite pull that last part off, as well as missing most or all of the pins most of the time.
From there he went on to serve food to people at various places, which didn't sit well with my impression of looking presidential either.
Hillary meanwhile, went out to the local Sack O' Suds and hammered back a Crown Royal neat - or straight up - or unadorned with any thinners like fruit juice or soda for you yuppies, and chased it with a draught beer. Whoa baby! And when I say she hammered it back, I'm not kidding!
Next to Hillary, Bill Clinton is looking more and more like a first lady all the time.
But what of all this posturing? Most voters know that none of the candidates really holds blue collar status, and I for one don't expect them to be punching a time clock for the next four years.
I care that they can grasp the intricacies of little things like not being able to pay your mortgage or power bill if you lose your job, and that unemployment payouts are embarrassing as well as temporary.
If they can understand that if someone out in the real America goes too long without an income, through no fault of their own, they will lose their home and car, and probably their family too, then they have grasped all that is necessary. Loss of income, buying power and pride in self, by the way, is the cause of bitterness, and most people don't join the National Rifle Association nor the local church to ease their anger over economic issues, as Sen. Obama suggested in a gaffe that was at least as bad as his bowling.
I don't mind the candidates getting out and mingling, but as long as I have been alive and watching I have never thought that any president or presidential contender really felt all that comfortable out in my neck of the woods - which is probably why none of them ever come here.
But, if they want to pose and posture as "working folk" that's OK by me. But they have to stick with the program and can't just dabble.
Hence, I am now proposing that to put an end to all this rhetoric and rhetoric about rhetoric, the best way to settle the Democratic nomination is to set up an arm wrestling match between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama.
It should be best two out of three, match rules, no proxies or substitutes.
I don't want anyone to accuse me of throwing the outcome, but my money is on Mrs. Clinton, two straight, no more than 30 seconds to pin Obama, either hand, both times.
Hey, don't go giving me a ration about Obama's manliness. I've seen him bowl.
Monday, April 14, 2008