Wednesday, October 08, 2008

John McGrumpy vs Barack Oboywhatawinna

Having kids in foreign countries adds an element of drama to one's life, with phone calls coming in at odd hours chiefly concerning travel travail: missed flights, cancelled flights, delayed flights, usually on the eve of a major Jewish holiday.

Such was the call we received at 6 am this morning from our own 20-year-old daughter, Middle Babe, studying at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

The Jewish population of her international program of 6,000 students is 2 and for this reason, she flew to friends of friends of a friend in Jo'berg for Rosh Hashana and was en route to Capetown today to spend the Day of Atonement with the family of a friend from New York.

Except that severe rainstorms delayed her flight for several hours and she called us in a panic, asking our wise parental counsel on the matter. Unless the flight took off within the next hour, she would risk arriving in Capetown too late to eat before nightfall and the beginning of a 25-hour fast.

Fortunately, her plane was taking off at the time of our last conversation and though I tried to fall back to sleep after hearing that welcome news, my mind clicked into zero-to-sixty mode.

Within minutes, I was seated in front of my computer, a steaming cup of Oren's Beowulf Blend before me, reading the postmortems on the second presidential debate of the previous night.

While it was abundantly clear to me that Obama sailed through the town hall format as a superstar -- and last night's CNN team gave high points to his performance -- I was curious to read the morning-after assessments.

Even after reading the predictably skewered views of the Fox News contributors, it seems that the national consensus matches my own reaction. However, as I watched Obama elegantly grab the mantle of victor from McCain, I couldn't help wondering how pro-McCain voters viewed their guy's performance.

Did they see -- and were they alarmed by -- McCain's cranky old man-nerisms?

Did they cringe when he made stupid jokes or snarled at Obama?

What did they think of his dismissive, in-shockingly-poor-taste reference to Obama as "that one?"

Did his repeated use of the phrase, "my friends," grate on their nerves?

And most importantly...could they fail to see the words, Next Leader of the Free World and Savior of America writ large across Obama's forehead?

I will admit that until last night's debate, I resisted Obamaphilia, publicly stated that I was supporting him because I was supporting the Democratic party and his vision.

I have said that, as a Hillaryite, I was disappointed that her bid for candidacy failed, that I saw Obama as a leader only by default but that it was clear that he would get my vote.

Last night's on-their-feet format changed my mind utterly.

Obama is the great black ‘n white hope of America.

He is epic, heroic, smart, sincere, perfectly suited for the daunting -- but hardly fictitious -- role of knight in shining armor coming to rescue the damsel-in-distress that is our nation.

While his opponent, John McCain increasingly appears tired, saggy around the jowls, angry, frustrated, badly in need of a nap.

Hobbling across the stage in Nashville last night, John McCain seemed like nothing more than Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs -- short, square, bitter, defeated, cranky, cartoonish.

And my friends, I don't think that America can survive another cartoon character acting as commander-in-chief.

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