Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Vote Today Ohio–Day 5–The Morning After

vp debateWhat to make of the Vice Presidential debate [transcript here] last night?

We err if we view Sarah Palin through the lens of our own ambitions and anxieties. Many assumed she would be apprehensive, even terrified by the prospect of facing millions of Americans.  The future of the GOP was hers to destroy.

But this is not an average woman. She has experience. She has stood nearly naked in a two-piece bathing suit before crowds of gawkers in beauty contests and smiled confidently. Do that a few times and the audience behind Gwen Ifill and the television transmitters is far less than intimidating. She has sat before broadcast microphones reading teleprompter sports copy. Do that and the fear of tongue-tied dead air disappears.

She was confident, attractive, and never off her game. The News Hour Commentator Mark Shields later called her “colloquial,” a less folksy way of saying she’s “folksy.” American loves the common (wo)man. Rather than demand leaders whose superior knowledge and intelligence separate them from the masses (and qualify them by these superior attributes to lead), our voters seem to feel entirely more comfortable with good ol’ boys like George W. Bush, the kinda guy you’kin have a brew with.

Or with good ol’ gals like Sarah Palin. She is well chosen for our anti-intellectual America. A formidable candidate.

*     *     *     *     *

yard signAlthough the statewide polls show Ohio as a toss-up (Obama up by 2%), on the drive to Kent State this morning we did our own scientific poll by tabulating all the lawn signs on Ohio’s Route 43 from Streetsboro to Kent.

Obama: 9 signs
McCain: 2 signs

Landslide!

*     *     *     *     *

Today’s Vote Today Ohio schedule has 49 students booked for rides to the polls. By the end of the day I shall be fully qualified to drive a rental car shuttle bus to and from any airport.

debate photo: Washington Post

2 Comments

  1. Thought of you and everyone else doing such important registration work today, Steve, when I read this, directed at young potential voters, by the brilliant and much missed David Foster Wallace:

    By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.

  2. Steve says:

    Pam–

    I agree with David Foster Wallace’s assessment of what not voting means, but because of its more-than-oblique reference to John McCain, there is much irony in the quote you include in your comment. The quote comes from a Rolling Stone article entitled “The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys And The Shrub: Seven Days In The Life Of The Late, Great John McCain,” published April 2000, during the primary campaign where Bush’s negative ads crippled McCain’s chance to win the nomination. It is on page 6 of the article.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/18420304/the_weasel_twelve_monkeys_and_the_shrub/1

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