Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NH Primary '08

How to get all this down. Hm. Okay, we'll start with my mother, since I started with her. You know, originally. I called her today after the NH primary, waiting precisely 16 hours to make sure she had time to get over her angst and grief re: Obama/Hillary.

And she didn't disappoint, being the funny woman she is. She went through the stages, she said, from feeling like punching someone, to reading the Times -- and specifically Maureen Dowd's "Can Hillary Cry Her Way to the White House?"-- which was apparently the cure to her (Mom's) woe. (I think I forgot a stage or two; sorry Mom.)

Right on, sister. Those tears, man. Genuine? Sure. (And I refuse to see the video.) But acting? Sure. Hill (not my mom) is too smart to have a true moment of private sadness in public. It's hard to fake tears but stress helps alot.

Other talking points via mom:

1) Hillary can't use tears again. Can't can't can't. For the remainder of the primaries. So she used a lethal weapon way too early.

2) Obama IS electable. But only if the right-minded (and I mean left-minded) folks who keep whispering "But do you really see a black man in the White House?" stop it. Just stop it. As a nation, we're highly unlikely to get more progressive and suddenly enlighted, so why are we waiting for the fucking chimera of that future day?

3) I went to bed after the news and fell asleep listening to NPR, heard Obama's speech and thought: he's gotta watch it. He sounded too oratorily (is that a word?) hortatory and leaned a little too far into the preachy rhythms and repetition that bring to my mind a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton. That technique can work but can also be very off-putting. Politics is rhetoric, sure; adding the gloss of the preacherman cadence can effectively tarnish the message. I may be overthinking it, but words and sound are my thing...

4) My mother howled at friend Bob's explanation of the weird discrepancy between the early polling in NH and the outcome. He said that (and I'm totally paraphrasing but it rings SO true to me, having relatives there) that New Hampshirians (is that a word?) hate unsolicited phone calls and, being bombarded with them due to the primary, just started saying whatever. Not lying, per se, but.... whatever. So. There you go.

5) There's certainly still hope. Obama needed a small failure to galvanize his support -- and earlier is better than later.

6) The media suck. Why talk about actual issues and position in depth when they can pant about the horse race? [insert sports metaphor here]

7) Whoever uses "hope" and "change" next in a speech deserves to lose. Hello, get a thesaurus.

8) The nightmare scenario brings it all home: President Huckleberry. We then veered off-course to discuss whether plastic surgery can give us dimples, since they're so effective as a"likeability" factor.


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