Sunday, October 5, 2008
In the northeast Ohio town where I reside, I've now twice encountered a gentleman I can only dub "Political Guy." Sixtysomething, clean-cut and well-mannered, with a boisterous demeanor that manifests itself in public places, Political Guy gets very excited near the end of election cycles and wants to share that uncontainable excitement with others. In 2004, when Bush put in a local appearance, Political Guy regaled an employee at the library with the President's quip to the mayor that he fix the potholes on the city streets. "Fix the potholes! Fix the potholes!" Political Guy exclaimed in slack-jawed wonder. Never mind that Bush made that remark to practically every mayor at every stop in the campaign; he was agog at the man's wit.
More recently, following Sarah Palin's acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, I saw Political Guy run into a female acquaintance at a nearby Border's. "You have to be very impressed with her!" he shouted to the rafters. "Very, very, very impressed!"
Some continue to be impressed; increasing numbers less so; and a few of us were never on board in the first place. As one of the latter, unbedazzled by her folksy ramblings in the recent debate (I'm not keen on Biden's more polished bullshit either), I've found most of the post-debate coverage predictable and unilluminating. One exception has been Roger Ebert's focus on body language, patterns of speech and other mannerisms. I've also enjoyed Ebert's colleague Jim Emerson's analyses of Tina Fey's Palin parodies on Saturday Night Live. Readers of this blog know how much I've loved Fey's comic genius and fearless political satire on 30 Rock, and her appearances as Palin have been an invaluable public service over the last few weeks, a portrait of a smug yet strangely guileless politician who never asked to be the VP nominee and is making the best out of a train wreck that one can. Fey is smart and savage, yet with a dollop of empathy. I'd vote for her in a New York minute.