Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final US debate

Last night's final debate in the US was a coffee table style format, much like what we see in France for their presidentials. Much more open for face to face discussion as well as to get points across. It was, I thought, more nasty in some respects by both sides but after the drone of the first three there needed to be some spark. John McCain was much more combative but it was too little, too late.

If either McCain or Barack Obama were looking to say something in last night's final debate that closed the deal, it was the latter who likely did so. Speaking about education reform, Obama wrapped up his point by saying the following:

But there's one last ingredient that I just want to mention, and that's parents. We can't do it just in the schools. Parents are going to have to show more responsibility. They've got to turn off the TV set, put away the video games, and, finally, start instilling that thirst for knowledge that our students need.

Neo-cons may not believe it, but many of us progressives have been saying that for so long a time we've almost given up trying. So has Obama, but he got a huge TV audience when he said it and, according to the networks who were running those "reaction graphs" by undecided voters, that was the line that got the biggest and most instantaneous positive response. I personally think it wasn't just American parents, but also the billion watching around the world, that stood up and cheered.

Because no matter what the government is able to do, it can't parent. It's up to parents to do that. The McCains have of course done admirably in raising an adopted child and that more than proves their mettle in the family values department. But it was Obama that sparked a nerve.

Lastly, kudos to Bob Schieffer. Unlike Tom Brokaw last week, The Schief kept the debate on track and to the point. He's retiring next year -- or so he claims -- and this gives him the feather in the cap of a distinguished career.

Much more distinguished than the wanabees in the media today, who think the rapidity of the disappearance of Angelina Jolie's "baby bump" is more more newsworthy than the number of single mothers who are more telegenic than her but can't afford to pay the mortgage.

For what it's worth, I think those Jane Blow moms have more family values, and know what they are, than Jolie anyway.

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