Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The time honored tradition of presidential pandering.

Pandering is a long and established tradition among political candidates. I am just a little young (thank heavens) to remember, but in a debate with fellow Democrat Gary Hart, Walter Mondale famously countered Hart's continual use of "new ideas" as his slogan with this quote:

"When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, 'Where's the beef?'"

Where's the beef. That's right, Mondale countered with a popular catch phrase from this Wendy's add campaign.

Who can forget Michael Dukakis' famous tank ride to assuage fears that he might not be strong enough militarily:

I don't know about you, but he looked about as comfortable in that tank as Elton John would be at a Scores nightclub. Now, these were some pretty good examples of good old fashioned baby kissing pandering, but this year, our current crop of presidential candidates have really taken it to a new level, as illustrated in this recent bit to promote WWE Monday Night Raw:

Holy mother of pearl! That just takes the cake! Now, I'm all for flag pins, embarrassing catch phrases, brazenly irrational declarations of war against Iran (thanks Hillary!), but I have to say, in 100,000 years, I never thought I would see the candidates, hoping to take the office of the most powerful person in the free world, on WWE Raw. Unbelievable. I'm reminded of the phrase "elitist" being bandied about as though it were a bad thing. Personally, I want my president so many times smarter than me it cannot be measured. I want a president that has been successful in just about everything that they do. I hope that they would have the saavy and business sense to be millionaires many times over. I want a president that has been toughened cultured, and refined.

And with all respect to wrestling fans (I've watched my share to be sure) I'd like my presidential candidate to steer clear from debacles like this, like, well, like Elton John steering clear of Scores.

No comments: