Bob Franken

Tripping Over the Silver Tongues

April 14, 2008
Tripping Over the Silver Tongues (Bob Franken)
@ 8:09 am

Let’s tell it like it is. The ongoing question in this campaign is which candidate is going to make the next stupid comment.

It’s unfortunate to use that harsh word, but how else do you describe the clumsy, tellingly elitist construct of Harvard’s Barack Obama as he felt the need to describe working-class people? After all, shot-and-a-beer alienation can be too remote for the wine-and-cheese non-working class to comprehend. Maybe it was just a matter of time before the smooth talker tripped over his eloquence.

How else do you characterize Hillary Clinton’s ordained-by-Yale belief that common folks are so gullible she can get away with fabrications like Tuzla?

As for John McCain, one would think that with all that experience, he’d manage to stop being so mixed up about al Qaeda’s role in Iraq, or lack thereof.

I haven’t even gotten to the embarrassingly nasty and destructive comments from highly placed surrogates, spousal and otherwise.

Nor have I mentioned the various pundits who regale us with one ridiculous or poisonous commentary after another. They’re somewhat different in that they aren’t seeking your vote, although we can elect whether to watch or even pay attention to them.

The campaign is a long one, which would be terrific if the politicians used all the time to debate the huge issues that make this a vitally important election. Instead, we are forced to witness small-minded bickering between candidates who are so frazzled that they have gone from articulate to absurd sputterance.

We in the media are delighted to fan the sparks of controversy to make sure the ratings, circulation and unique hits stay up.

Come to think of it, the pettiness might be a good thing for all of us to witness. This way, we can get over the notion that any of the candidates matches the superhuman image his or her operatives and propagandists try to create.

All we have to do is listen to the dumb things they inevitably say. They’re good reminders that our aspiring supreme leaders are just as flawed as anybody else. They are not remarkable, even if they believe they are. They’re not even as glib as they think. Obviously.

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