Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Two Guys, Two Keyboards, And A Circus :: The Democratic Debate

My homie Ferentz Lafargue, author of Songs in the Key of My Life: A Memoir, and I have been having these intense discussion about the elections so we thought we’d start sharing the stuff online. Welcome to Two Guys, Two Keyboards, And A Circus.

Here’s my first response to his first post on the MLK Day Democratic Debate:

You’re so on point.

Obama is an inexperienced, inconsistent, sometimes straight lousy campaigner. But more to the point: he has had his lousiest debate appearances before African American crowds. Remember Hillary’s call to arms around AIDS and black women last year?

I actually think he had a plan going in–to neutralize all the criticisms he’s been getting from Billary. Makes sense on paper and it would have been fine if he had stopped–but he wasted so much energy on the side battle (and give Hillary credit for stuff like the Rezko bomb) that he ceded big picture stuff to Edwards. And Edwards absolutely killed it in there.

Then, during the sitdown session, Hillary was able to slide some lofty sounding rhetoric in there during the sitdown session as well. So all of Obama’s thunder was stolen.

It might be time for the Obama camp to concede that, as great as their candidate performs in Reaganesque set pieces (like that didn’t-you-see-it Ebenezer speech earlier that day), he’s as useless a debater as George W. Bush.

Guess we all blew it with the b-ball and jazz and freestyle metaphors.

Check Ferentz’s reply here. Here’s my reply to his reply:

Re: Kucinich, I too subscribe to the polar theory of politics, which essentially holds that as long as there is a radical in the race, the whole field shifts left. But the relevant pole after February 5th is, sad to say, not we progressive anti-racist pointyhead types, but the fairly undifferentiated mass of voters “out there” that the punditocracy/pollstocracy says is concerned about Obama’s alleged “lack of experience”, Frank Rich notwithstanding.

In other words, assuming Obama is there in Denver, and let me clear my throat here and make a shocking prediction:


If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But I doubt it.

Back to the point I was gonna make, if Obama’s there in Denver, he’s not sliding left on his VP pick. Not Edwards. Not Kucinich. He’s selecting a hoary old white male party mainliner. All you fam who are floating away on his beautiful prose like I often do, I’m sorry to have popped your balloon. Mine popped Monday night.

So I think you’d agree that the worst thing right now would be for Edwards to drop out. (Which he won’t, I’m sure because if he plays close he might play broker in Denver.) I think Obama needs Edwards to keep him honest on health care and poverty, the same way Hillary needs the other two to make her gender pitch sound good to progressive feminists.

BTW when will Obama’s campaign hire you as speechwriter? They need some brilliance up in there to match their candidate…and hell, a little color wouldn’t hurt either!

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