Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is Joe the Plumber Running for President?

Seriously with so many mentions of "Joe, the Plumber" I thought he might be running for office!

It's no secret, that like my friend Kwana, I'm a little obsessed with this election. Not only did I watch the debate, but I watched the commentary afterwards, and I've been reading not only the New York Times, but Slate, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Salon, The Daily Beast (where McCain's Aunt admits that he's losing) as well as Time and Newsweek. I've already scheduled to take off the day after the election to either celebrate or mourn democracy as we know it.

Last night I even went to a roundtable at The Philoctetes Center called "Voters and Friends: Group Influence in Individual Political Belief". At least that was the title of the roundtable, much of the time was spent talking about polling and statistics and other rather boring subjects that I could care less about.

I was raised by Roosevelt Democrats. My mother voted in every single Presidential election accept one and that was because I was born the day before and the hospital wouldn't let her leave to go vote (or buy a pack of cigarettes), despite her promise to return when she was done. She wept when both Jack and Bobby Kennedy were killed. So I grew up in a very liberal household. Did it influence me? Hell yeah!

But I learned to make my own decisions when it came to candidates. Just because someone is a Democrat, doesn't mean he automatically gets my vote if he or she is an idiot. I'm willing to look at the other side. However, I have yet to hear a Republican say anything that I agree with. Seriously I find it hard to believe sometimes that this is the same party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Once upon a time, I did find McCain charming and the type of Republican that I actually could get behind, until he decided that he wanted to win more than stick by his principles.

I take voting seriously as a privilege not just a right. I have voted in every local, state and Presidential election since I voted for the first time for Cuomo on my 18th birthday. And this year, we had the choice of a serious female contender for the first time, and a serious African-American candidate for the first time. It almost seemed an embarassment of riches. I do admit that I try to keep my political discussions to among like minded friends. Recently I noticed on Facebook that some authors that I have been friendly with, who were now friends of Sarah Palin and it did kind of turn me off. But I'm sure that there are people who are turned off by the fact that I am a fervent Obama supporter. The panelists didn't really address those issues during the discussion, which I found seriously disappointing.

Anywhoo, back to the debate. While I thought McCain did make some good points over all, he came across as a cranky old man who could barely contain himself. The thinly veiled contempt that he showed Obama was a major turn-off whereas I thought Obama came across as more Presidential and respectful of McCain. He talked about the ways that they actually agreed, he didn't trash Palin the way that McCain trashed Biden. I thought he gave a very good answer regarding abortion. On the other hand, McCain doing the air quotes thing when Obama mentioned occasions when late term abortion might be permissable when the mother was endangered, lost him huge points among women I would suspect. And claiming that his feelings were hurt concerning Representive Lewis, and his response when Obama brought up people yelling "Kill Him" and "Terrorist" at Palin rallies while Palin tacitly seemed to accept and also to rile up the crowd. Major turn-offs, at least for me. Also his comment about how Obama might want to visit Colombia before talking about it was pretty jerky. And his sneering jibes at Obama's eloquence. For someone who claims not to want to run a negative campaign his whole debate performance was negative.

Also, someone should tell McCain that there is a difference between down syndrome and autism, although they are both fall under the category of special needs. And since Trig is only 6 months old, I doubt Sarah Palin has any idea yet about what he's going to need or what it is like to deal with a special needs child. Talk to her again when he's 4.

As for Obama talking about spreading the wealth, how many middle class families feeling the pinch, haven't occasionally thought the same thing, when we read about the year end bonuses and compensation packages executives receive.

So I have to give this one to Obama.


lizmaverick said...

You know it's bad when you become transfixed by the CNN Ohio Undecided Voters "HappySad-O-Meter" Feed so you can watch swing-state reactions as the candidates are speaking. I'm sure that's why I couldn't get to sleep later.


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I was transfixed by the many faces of John McCain during the debate. And how old and panicked. At one he looked freeze dried.

Dorothy Thompson said...

You know, this is interesting. I'm an Obama supporter just to get that out there, but if Joe the Plumber doesn't want to share the wealth, what does Joe the Plumber do when people give him food and gifts at Christmas? Does he accept them or does he say no I don't like you because you are sharing the wealth. It's crazy, absolutely crazy...but I will say...GO OBAMA.

Kwana said...

You know I'm all about the O on this one. Check out my though on Joe The P today. I can't get with his story. A set up? I think so.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Yeah, I did find it bizarre that McCain picked up Obama's interaction with the Joe the Plumber and made it such a feature of his debate performance. That seemed a little weird to me, but then McCain's whole campaign since he chose Sarah Palin has been weird.