Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Red Fish Blue Fish Presidential Wish--the Florida Dish!


Who Won in Florida?

Last night's debate was snarling, defensive, and full of historical references.
It seems that when the candidates realized how lackluster and non-responsive the audience was (yes they are asked to hold applause, but since when has any crowd adhered to this request??), they stopped trying to appeal to them as voters and instead turned to one another and took the gloves off.
Romney kicked things off by rubbing Gingrich's nose in the dirt, and in doing so (persistently!), dirtied his own hands a bit. Romney was so worked up that in comparison Gingrich came off as more calm, focused, and concerned about going head to head with incumbent President Obama rather than petty politics (never fear, this bumptiousness didn't last throughout the debate). I am no Gingrich fan (the guy's name is Newt for crying out loud! And is there such thing as visual onomatopoeia? I'm just saying...) but Romney came across in this tipoff as the erratic one.
And then Santorum pipes in, slightly tan (out and about in the Florida community, or slapping on bronzing cream for that elect me! glow?) and wearing a candy cane tie. Whowee. Did anyone else notice the ties last night? It was like a bizarre parlor game with the frontrunners--Romney and Gingrich--wearing polka dot monstrosities, one in blue, one in red. Ron Paul had on a blue candy cane tie to parallel Santorum, and they formed a nice stripey frame for the dotted interior. Isn't it lovely when the candidates and their teams can orchestrate matching debate nights? It just gives everything a glossier tone, and an atmosphere of well...not sincerity, but certainly less-seriousness.
So candy-cane tie puts in his two cents on his new radical vision and Ronald Reagan (yet again). You know that saying about rose-colored glasses? I think Santorum sees everything out of 1980s-colored glasses. He would have thrived then, but he needs to refrain from perceiving himself as a member of that time and Romney as Bush Senior and Obama as Jimmy Carter. Get with the present, Rick!
Also--Santorum needs to stop using "a" and "an" interchangeably. Scorn my English majorness, but it is simply unacceptable for America's leader to not comprehend the basics of English grammar, especially when they were mentioning making English the official language of the United States.
Back to the crowd--15 minutes in and still no applause [Insert comment here on fact that Florida is one big retirement haven and maybe the crowd needed a collective nap].
And onto Ron Paul. Guy can talk, and has some interesting things to say. But the eyebrows!!!! I can't look away! When there is that much contrast between your hair and eyebrows you make an automatic caricature of yourself. He has a good sense of humor (and was the first to get chuckles from his peers--ahem--the audience) but he needs to get a dye stick and some undereye de-puffing gel to be taken more seriously (and appear that he will be alive for the next four years). He isn't bad, he just looks like someone I'd have a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie with in a retirement home, not someone I'd tune in to hear a State of the Union from.
Encouraging aspects:
Romney's idea of eliminating taxes on savings accounts for people making under $200,000 annually. Yes, please!
Santorum's lecture on Iran's history of warlike behavior demonstrated that he has read a history book between this debate and the last one! Good references. Gold star!
Romney's support of NASA. Lets put an American on Mars! Lets colonize the moon!
Gingrich making flubbed historical references. We know you've been around to witness most of this stuff, so get it right or don't mention it. And stop quoting people that the hoi polloi have never heard of.
Romney's Dad's tactics and methodologies being called into question. Um..we're not electing him, why is that relevant as long as he wasn't a crook or a terrorist (or Kenyan, which is the worst possible thing a candidate's father can be in America apparently).
Santorum's rambling capitalism lecture. Letting capitalism work, as he promotes, is what helps the rich get richer and...you guessed it.
Gingrich criticizing lobbying as though it is a terrible thing.
Gingrich referring to a website that will be put up today with his rebuttals to Romney's attacks on him. He didn't have his defense on hand and could only appeal to those with access to technology (and an interest in getting online and reading a bunch of dense factual crap today).
Romney's slam on Castro and Gingrich's even BIGGER slam on Castro (a joke on him going to hell. ha ha, how witty of you gentlemen. Is Fidel even alive? Seen him recently? I wonder if they knew exactly which Castro they were talking about).
Romney saying his personal raising of a big family supports conservatism.. huh?? What about democrats? This was a terrible opening to a possible stirring response that could have created beneficial campaign sound bytes! You missed the train on that one Mittens.
And last but not least in the subject of ridiculousness, Gingrich stating--so definitively--that Americans never want to go to war, they never have and never will. He specifically cited Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as times when the American people had absolutely no interest in going to war. Umm, you sure about that Newt? Those were surprise attacks that left Americans staggering and thirsty for revenge. I'm not sure what stringent pacifists he has been talking to or what history books he likes to read, but when people get that riled up and patriotic, they want to defend their patriotism. As Ron Paul pointed out, war was declared quickly after Pearl Harbor was hit and the war was won relatively fast because the people wanted it and everyone contributed during that time. My own grandfather signed up the day after Pearl Harbor. Bad reference, weird argument.
The debate trailed off after the first 40 minutes or so and lead to a lot of babbling, namely on Freddie Mac. I don't see a clear winner in this one, but it sure was a fun boxing match!!

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