Bob Franken


July 5, 2007
Mom, Pop and Apple Pieowa (Bob Franken)
@ 10:41 am

Hillary and Bill and Mitt and Ann. Omigod: Talk about a meeting of the platitudinous TITANS! There they were, “Spouse of” Bill Clinton, showing he still has that ability to talk while biting his lower lip, and Mitt Romney, with wife, showing he can move his lips and say very little. Meanwhile, candidate Hillary as usual was no slouch either with the cliches, both in the chance encounter with the Romneys and everywhere else.

Oh yeah, she has a new slogan: “Ready for change, ready to lead.” I think that replaces “More taste, less filling.”

For the most part, the candidates were serving up that native dish in Iowa: white bread. It was almost refreshing to hear also-running Joe Biden show his dark side by calling the president of the United States “brain dead.”

Iowa was the place to be this Independence Day, although a few of the candidates decided to be elsewhere. John Edwards was one, but he’s been in the state so many times, he’s probably met every single resident already. Except the local hair stylists.

Rudy Giuliani was a no-show. For him, Iowa is somewhere west of New York City.

And John McCain? He was in Iraq. His campaign possibly couldn’t afford the plane fare to Des Moines.

But the big impact came from seeing the Clintons together. That’s always nice.

Still, the one who far and away reached the most people was that non-candidate Fred Thompson. USA Network has been running wall-to-wall episodes of “Law & Order,” where he plays the prosecutor. That’s while he also plays coy about running. Just another role.

At this point, the candidates are all sharpening up their acts, some relying on scripts more than others — Democrats running against President Bush, Republicans running away from him. And for the moment, all running in place, in what has become the longest opening act in American political history.

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