Letters to Holly

Thursday, October 16

A Play is Announced

The theatre season we picked during the summer was announced this week. The first show will be the Christmas play, and auditions are this weekend. It's short notice. It's a short play. It evens out. I don't know the director, and, even though I read and OK'd the play, I'm not ready to leap back into theatre. I think I'm burned out after two really big scripts and one long summer committee session. It's a comedy though, and I haven't tried one of those since I moved to Mayberry.

The sidewalks of our hamlet are now choked with runners preparing for the run ten days away. I ran last night, and hope to run a little each day until the 25th.

Picture of the Day
The first images from the Star Trek movie are coming out, and they look good. Spock is unmistakably Spocky, and that's crucial.

The Debate
Much better as a true debate. Both came loaded with stats and numbers and names (Columbia trade agreement vs. Peru trade agreement?!). McCain came to play, and he did well until the subject of Ayers was broached. Moderator Bob Schieffer brought it up, and McCain defended it as a matter of judgment. McCain said that had Obama agreed to ten town-hall forums, his campaign wouldn't have gotten ugly. It was, he implied, Obama's fault for playing hardball.

And then Obama lowered the goddamn boom by defining his connection to Ayers AND his reaction to the Congressman connecting the McCain/Palin campaign rhetoric and racism from the '60s. This answer was so clear, so complete that I had to pause the program and walk it off. And then McCain responded with (and I'm paraphrasing) "well, yeah, whatever."

Obama said the negative campaign ads are a fundamental evil of an election, and voters don't care about the candidates hurt feelings. They want to fix their own problems. He challenged McCain to drop the name-calling and focus on the pertinent issues. McCain wouldn't, and that may be what seals his campaign. He could have moved this back to the high ground, and it appeared as if he'd rather wallow.

Another possible vote-loss came when he dismissed concerns about the health of mothers in late trimesters as a rhetorical creation of rabid pro-abortion groups. He even made finger quote gestures when he referred to the "health" of the mother. It shocked me. He also used exaggerated eyebrow raising as much as Palin winked at the camera.

You'll hear a lot of their reference to Joe The Plumber, a person Obama talked to last week about small business and healthcare/tax fees. McCain brought it up, and Joe became a virtual avatar for America. They claimed the other would hurt Joe more. They claimed they were Joe's best bet for financial security. It was silly, but it showed again that Obama could wrest control of a McCain tactic. When McCain used Joe as a reason to again ask what kind of fine Joe could expect as an employer who might not provide healthcare, Obama flatly said there would be non. Small businesses would be exempt from a fine levied against larger businesses, and that left McCain to at least appear to defend corporations from taxes and fines. He claimed Obama was trying to "spread the wealth," a reworking of the "redistribution of wealth" that alleges to prove Democrats are socialists.

McCain got in his own way tonight, and should he lose this campaign, he has no one to blame but himself. This was his chance, and he was outplayed.

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