On the campaign trail

NYT has a nice piece about the absurdity of the campaign trail. People are asking the candidates about all kinds of shit like whether to get rid of the penny and the dollar bill and trying to make them eat crap like onion rings and chocolate cake – “Go on! Just have half a fish!” – and all the time the reporters are there with their mics making sure that the candidate doesn’t say anything interesting.

Obama had to deal with this

In Lancaster, Mr. Obama, talked to a woman in tears because disability had left her impoverished, then fielded a question from an impatient fellow convinced that the secret world government was about to impose the Amero, a joint American-Mexican-Canadian currency. Mr. Obama explained that he could not do anything about the Amero because, alas, it did not exist.

immediately followed by this

The pivot comes fast. One minute you are talking about an imaginary currency, and the next you hear life rubbed raw. In Lancaster, Linda Hassel rises, hesitant and pained. Her son is an Army lieutenant. What can you say to mothers and fathers who fear that their sons and daughters have died in vain?

Mr. Obama stood silent before answering. He said that he wore a yellow wristband given to him by a woman in Green Bay, Wis., whose son had died in Iraq. He spoke of crying with her and recognizing the futility of offering comfort. “I meet parents all the time who have lost sons and daughters, but their service to our country is never in vain,” he said. “They have performed magnificently. Our military has acquitted itself with all the honor you could expect. That’s never a waste.”

“Getting rid of Saddam Hussein,” he continued, “that is an accomplishment; trying to reduce and contain violence, that is an accomplishment.”

He stood perched on the edge of the riser. “The failure is on the part of the civilian leadership who did not think through this war and its consequences.”

We want to honor that service going forward, he said; we want to care for maimed veterans and those who remain haunted by war. We will end the countless tours of duty, he said.

“We revere your sacrifice,” he said to Mrs. Hassel. “I am going to make sure that we as a nation are as great as those who sacrifice for us.”

I know it was rehearsed, but still…that was pretty good.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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