The best experts in the field say Martians and not permitted to vote in US elections. But if you landed your flying saucer in the Jersey swamps and got your first glimpse of John McCain andBarak Obama , you might have trouble making up your mind about which guy you'd elect if you COULD vote. If, however, you are an earthling and a registered American voter, have read a newspaper, listened to the radio or watched the tube, you almost HAD to pick one of them.
But the second of the three presidential debates, also known as the longest 90 minutes in television, concludes without a mention of Bill Ayers or CharlesKeating.
That said, John McCain looked stiff, mechanical, uncomfortable, insincere and tired. Obama looked loose, energetic, comfortable, sincere and energetic. Is it an age thing? A height thing? Or is it just that the guy with the long legs and the young lungs has a physicality more vigorous than the guy with the short legs, the old lungs, a highprobability, biologically, and one that speaks to longevity in office -- here defined as four years of good health and alert mind.
Here are some observations made during this grueling, boring, cliche-riddled, mind-numbing, eye-glazing presentation:
--McCain actually looked straight on at Obama, a gesture of simple courtesy he omitted during Debate I.
--McCain has started dropping final consonants from some of his words -- an apparent contagion spread by his vice presidential running mate (who pals around with people who wants her home state to secede from the United States.
--Consummately professional moderator Tom Brokaw seemed unable to keep the candidates within the time constraints to which they and their handlers had all previously agreed.
--Obama, generally uncomfortable in the "town hall" format, presented way above expectations.
--Both of these guys have split personalities. They have spent the last few days decorating each other with pond scum, and spent the debate behaving, for the most part, like gentlemen who have at least a Senate-floor-esque respect for each other.
--McCain mentioned that Ronald Reagan was his hero. Then he mentioned that Theodore Roosevelt was his hero. Anyone else? Both heroes have sent McCain their thanks, the former in a hand written note and the latter via Western Union Telegram.
The Republican slime machine that's been working overtime since at least the 1988 "Willie Horton" election will resume its mischief by the time you see these words. The Democratic party's feather light counter-punch'll be right behind it.
--Missing from the debate: Immigration reform. Is that a dead issue? Yes, because there aren't jobs for the Mexicans OR the U.S. citizens they supposedly replaced in the workforce. Theshape ups at Home Depot and 7-11 have become bilingual with English now the dominant language.
--It's hard to imagine those parking lot shape ups moving from big box home repair stores to banks. But maybe the out of work bankers and brokers should take a tip from their Mexican counterparts and mill around the parking lots of financial institutions hoping to pick up a day's work as an analyst or a teller. How do you dress for that occasion?
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)