Like many of you (well, not my Republican friends), I watched the Democratic Presidential Debate last night. I still can't remember the name of the guy on the far left (of the stage, not politically), but I found myself jonesing for a Trump fix.
The debate itself had some good moments. Bernie Sanders telling Hillary Clinton that the American people are tired of her damn emails will go down in debate history as a classic. It was good politics for both of them.
There were two memorable lines I remember from presidential debates that I witnessed early in my political addiction. The first was during the 1984 debate, when Ronald Reagan was asked if he thought that age was going to be an issue during the campaign.
At the time of his reelection, Reagan was 73.
Without missing a beat, the ever ebullient Hollywood star, who once played second banana to a chimpanzee (Bedtime for Bonzo) quipped, "...I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience."
While the political myth of the Ronald Reagan legend far exceeds the accomplishments of his presidency, he was a classic. I can only imagine what it would be like to have Reagan going toe to toe with Trump.
The second great line came during the 1988 campaign, when Democratic vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentson said that his opponent, Dan Quayle did not have the experience for the job.
In his defense, Quayle said that he had as much experience as Jack Kennedy did when he (Kennedy) ran for president.
Bentson, a heretofore political unknown, said, "I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Two of the more memorable, but stupid lines in a presidential debate came from Gerald Ford and Rick Perry.
In a 1976 debate against peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, Ford said, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe."
The moderator, Max Frankel could only utter a stunned, "I'm sorry, what?"
In the 2012 Republican Presidential debates, Rick Perry forgot one of the three governmental departments that he wanted to shut down, prompting the "Oops" that was heard around the world.
Sanders' comment about Hillary's emails will always stand out because he said it in defense of his main opponent. Reagan's comment about age will remain in the annals of great lines because it was pure, self-effacing humor.
Donald Trump will be hosting Saturday Night Live on November 7 and, if my wife doesn't schlepp me out somewhere, I will probably watch. It may not be great TV, but it will be entertaining. That, I think sums up what I call, "The Trump Effect."
Trump is in his element in front the cameras. It's comedy, it's farce, it's spectacle and it's compelling. It's like a traffic accident that causes a gapers block. People watch Trump for the same reason they listen to Howard Stern.
They want to hear what he says next.
After two GOP debates, the Democratic debate seemed like it was missing something. There were no Trump moments. Was there nothing Trump could do to edge his way into the conversation?
I started thinking of possible scenarios and then it hit me. I saw the face of Wolf Blitzer suddenly appearing on my TV screen with breaking news. Granted, what passes for breaking news these days can be extraordinarily mundane, so this would have to be good.
And there it was. Donald Trump and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler revealed to the world that they had a 21-year old love child together.
That was pretty weird. I don't know where that came from, but you may remember that Tyler got a court injunction to stop Trump from using Aerosmith's, "Dream On" at his rallies. I guess the juxtaposition of those two characters set off a chain reaction in my mind.
After watching the first three presidential debates, it's clear that voters will be presented with some pretty clear choices come November, 2016.
I know. Another year of this, right? We'll try to compare and contrast the GOP and Democratic platforms as they're unfolding. Watch for that early next week.
For the next Democratic debate, they can lose the two guys on the ends. Lincoln Chafee (the guy on the far right of the stage) looks like a guy who just got caught at the Washington Monument with a blow up doll.
The guy on the far left of the stage, whose name I can't seem to remember needs to loosen his collar before his head pops off.
I understand that he served in Vietnam and his son served in Iraq. Sir, whatever your name is, thank you and your family your for service to our nation. I just don't think this national stage is good forum for you.
I plan to watch the rest of the debates, both Republican and Democratic. I recommend that to everyone, although I know that my Fox News watching friends don't like to hear anything that might cause them to question their fact free zone.
That's too bad. I heard a couple things from the GOP candidates that I liked. Maybe it's time for a third party, one that could bring in ideas from both sides. Maybe Trump will announce on SNL that he's running as a composite candidate.
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