Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If only they'd sum THEMSELVES up in 1 sentence

Help me out here: Is everybody sick of the campaign, or am I just a bad citizen?
I try to care. I do care--every election I can remember has been billed as "a turning point" or "a critical time in our nation's history," but this one really does have that feel. Bush & Co. have so unraveled the painfully knit gains of the 20th century that another four years could put us into a hole it would take decades to get out of.
Still: Sick of it. Even the debates (the personal ones, not the television variety) aren't as spirited as in a normal election. Most of my Bush-supporting friends are either no longer Bush supporters or no longer friends, so there's no amusement there. Despite the high number of allegedly undecided voters, most people know at least which party they're going to back in November. Nobody inclining toward, say, Mike Huckabee today is going to switch to Hillary Clinton in November. Nobody's thinking, "Well, I'm just bummed Dennis Kucinich dropped out. Guess I'll back Romney."
So we're musing along those lines the other night at dinner, and some cynic who wasn't me said, "What's the difference? They're all the same."
Then, over the murmur of disapproval, he challenged, "OK, then give me a one-sentence description of each one. Say I'm voting for the first time, and I don't know what to do. Convince me."
Actually I think I can give a one-sentence description of every candidate, with the possible but not definite exception of John Edwards: Blind ambition. As has been said before, the mere fact that a candidate wants that job and is willing to do what it takes to get it should disqualify him. We could pick presidents the way you choose a bail bondsman, by running a finger down the listing in the Yellow Pages until something strikes your fancy (judging by the Republican primaries, a lot of people do pick that way).
I like the idea of the one-sentence descriptions, though. A friend of mine writes television scripts, and part of his process is to condense an idea into one sentence. It's easier to expand on a good thought, he says, than to cut a bloated concept down to size.
So, the major candidates:
  • Hillary Clinton: Smarter than anybody, probably including Bill.
  • Mitt Romney: Sort of creeps me out.
  • Barack Obama: Right place at the right time.
  • Mike Huckabee: Ought to be selling miracle cleaner on late-night TV.
  • John Edwards: Looks like he's working in his Politics merit badge.
  • John McCain: Had me until he sold out to the fundy Christians.
  • Rudy Giuliani: Really creeps me out, but his saving grace is that he's the most liberal serial adulterer in the campaign.
Feel free to make up your own; those are just off the top of my head.


Blogger mindervillain said...

Now that Hillary has taken to Republican style campaigning and hubby Bill has become her Karl Rove, the campaign should pick up as entertainment, if not actually good democracy.

Today's headline: South Carolina Blacks go for Obama.

Tomorrow's Clinton approach: The Blacks are going for Obama!!

Inference: We love the black folks..., but - PANIC!

12:09 AM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

The big Obama win in SC shows what can happen when you inject race into the campaign.

As Mark Shields said on the News Hour (PBS) last Friday: "Obama is running for the presidency who happens to be black and not as a black man running for president."

Who woulda thunk the Clinton's would have played the race card just like their repug counterparts?

If there was ever a warning about those that would attempt to play on racial divisions in the general election - this is it.

8:30 AM  
Blogger MomDuLac said...

Amen! I am already so tired of the campaigning. I notice I am now avoiding the news. Even the repubs are no fun at this point!

5:47 PM  
Blogger ReconRanger said...

I am in hearty agreement with the Farley that the campaign has already reached the gag reflex point and it’s still so early, so early, so early in the game. As a registered independent, though, I regularly get the dry heaves long before the party-faithful start to suspect there are songs playing that can’t be heard while the partisan loud-speakers are blaring.

Always during these frenzied times, I ponder the fact that there are people who strive for political office, take serious amounts of cash from special interest groups – be they labor unions or oil companies – in order to reach that goal and say any damned thing they please regardless of the truth.

Once elected – and qualified only by a bank account and half-truths – they have the power to send America’s sons and daughters into harms way where being killed or maimed is an occupational hazard.

Why shouldn’t that be an occupational hazard for them as well? Why shouldn’t our elected officials share the same risk as does the Soldiers, Marines and Airmen they move about the world stage? Of course, a politician’s risk should be proportionate with the politician’s ability to place a citizen in harm’s way. So I propose this federal law, tentative entitled the Fair Risk Act. Get out to Raley’s with your petition, because this will never pass Congress.

1. You may assassinate a president without fear of prosecution. That’s what the Second Amendment is all about.
2. You may permanently maim a member of Congress without fear of prosecution.
3. You may hospitalize a state legislator without fear of prosecution. The injuries requiring hospitalization may not be permanent.
4. You may punch out a county commissioner without fear of prosecution. Although it is permitted to severely beat the individual, beating the individual to the point of hospitalization is prohibited.
5. You may bitch slap a city official without fear of prosecution.
6. You may publicly humiliate your homeowner’s association president without fear of prosecution.

It would get the pikers out of the game.

7:10 PM  
Blogger sabjoro said...

I'm glad we had the caucus early. Except for the national news reports there is little mention of any candidates and best of all no TV ads until after the conventions.

7:13 PM  
Blogger dwoods48 said...

Danger , Danger , Reconranger has gone off his Meds again....

Please refer back too "Lets Play nice"....

We are all sick of the Campaign by now but We still have the best Process....

I will give You two One word decriptions ...
Politicians who don't disagree.

Electorate, who can practice Anarchy, Kenya...

I don't want too live in either one of those countries..

I am still trying too figure out what People see in John McCain ..
We all had problems in the 60's but does that qualify us too be President of the United States..

Poor Hillary ,She should have dumped Bill 10 Years ago when she had the chance...

5:33 AM  
Blogger ReconRanger said...

Whoa! Sheeit. I’m OK now. The drugs have finally kicked in. Dwoods48, you a Bro. That juke you whacked on the Be-be was fine, sublime, I don’t hardly have the time.

I’ll smack that stack you lack, like before you can whack, Jack.

Remember, as my drug supplier, I would forever hold fast and never give you up to law enforcement officials unless it could reduce my sentence or perhaps get me a cup of bad coffee while I’m waiting to be rubber-hosed by a couple of ex-high school football linemen turned cop.

Dwoods48 who?

8:50 PM  
Blogger Ann Onn said...

Hillary Clinton: Bill and I have been in withdrawal since we left the White House and we'll do ANYTHING to get back in.
Barack Obama: I'm an orator and I don't speak in single sentences.
John Edwards: I want to remove corporate influence from our government and I hope to do it without corporate contributions to my campaign or cooperation from the corporate-controlled Congress.
Rudolph Giuliani: No one will mind my vile and corrupt record because I was mayor on 9-11.
John McCain: Because I was a prisoner of war, I know that all American wars are good and just.
Mitt Romney: "The reason health care isn't working like a market right now is you have 47 million people that are saying, 'I'm not going to play. I'm just going to get free care paid for by everybody else.'" (Actual quote from debate in New Hampshire.)
Ron Paul: We don't a government.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Ann Onn said...

Correction: My last sentence should have read, "Ron Paul: We don't need a government."

I need to get in the habit of using "preview"!

10:02 AM  
Blogger nopastels said...

I, too, am up to my eyebrows over the endless campaiging. I blame, in part, the press for keeping front and center the race issue between Hillary and Barack.

I have been receiving e-mail, from friends from high school who I thought knew better, that is nothing but hate mongering against Barack. He's a muslum, does not show respect to our flag, reads from the Koran, etc. Why don't they just say they are racist and hate blacks? After yesterday, with the endorsement from the Kennedy's, I hope to vote for Barack for president.

I am surprised there has not been much made of the Republicans. Is that because they are "wonderbread men"? Mitt is a robot, Rudy is just nuts with a single message, 9-11 which he beat to death. John has some scary ideas about Iraq and the president's line.

Lastly, Bush's last State of the Union message, was a re-tread of the prior 7 years.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Hillary: Bill's wife
Mitt: flipflopper king
McCain: Military Industrial Candidate
Obama: Will show that race still matters, unfortunately
Paul: small government, hey fix that pothole.
Edwards: Who was that masked man?

7:35 PM  
Blogger honkytonkman said...

Hillary: Smarter (not more intelligent) and more crooked than anyone, including Bill.
Barrack: More intelligent than all of them.
John E.: Well, he's on hold, but "my delegates for the VP slot?"
John Mc: We have only 500,000 troops overseas now and we need another 500,000.
Mitt: Kids, I may have to spend the rest of your inheritance in order to make it, or I fixed the Olympics I can fix the world.
Mike: Instead of Hail To The Chief, I want them to play Onward Christian Soldiers.
Ron: Gee, I have all the answers why doesn't anyone listen to me? Actually, he does have a lot of the answers.

12:20 PM  

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