Catching Up

Yes, I’m playing catch up in the blogosphere (I always thought it was “blogsphere” – sounds better to me!) and getting over the extreme trauma of my laptop crashing two weeks ago. No, I did not back up my files and the less I think of what I lost on my old laptop, the better. Other than that I have been enjoying my break doing what I want while being intermittently plagued with thoughts of what I should be doing. And now a new term begins on Monday with a VERY full day scheduled! This term is sure to go by at lightning speed since it’s my last one. Scary, scary!  *sigh*

I had a busy day yesterday (again, doing what I want) and only late at night did I realise that the US presidential debates were to kick off – at 2am on this side of the pond. So, I did everything (short of using toothpicks to hold my eyelids open) to stay up so I could watch it and, sure enough, I fell asleep a few minutes before the start and awoke for the last 20 minutes! It’s just as well, though, as it didn’t seem I missed a great deal if those last few minutes were an indication of how much the debate unfolded. And if I am to go by the reports of many of the main US and UK papers, I am probably right.

I felt both Obama and McCain came off as evenly matched in their performance, but I was slightly frustrated with Obama because I wanted him to be more aggressive and to quicken his pace. I realise that it is his style to be more measured and contemplative, which I do prefer, but I believe in order to really outshine McCain he must give even better than he gets. McCain kept using statements like, “Again, what Sen. Obama doesn’t understand” and responding to Obama’s comments with variations of “See! This is where Sen. Obama’s lack of experience…” Obama should have used similar, calm references to examples of McCain’s instability and gambling nature as evidenced in the way he has been running his campaign and particularly his behaviour and flip flops on the current economic situation. Lately, McCain has been very unsteady and seemingly wreckless in his approach and Obama should be capitalising on this. He should be forcefully and widely talking about how the country needs thoughtful, measured, and stable leadership that is characterised by a diplomatic, yet no-nonsense approach, and how this connects with the foreign policy discussions they were having last night. I just wanted him to be more aggressive. He was more assertive than he usually is, but I felt he needed to ratchet it up a bit further. I gather that since foreign policy is supposedly one of McCain’s strongest talking points, then it was even more of a balancing act for Obama. He did well. I just wanted more out of him and I don’t think he will win this race unless he goes on the offensive more. He doesn’t need to be nasty, but he just needs to push more. Still, I did not see the entire debate and don’t feel like watching it online at this point.

At least we have the VP debates to look forward to with Palin and Biden next week. It should be VERY entertaining interesting. Given what I’ve seen of Palin in the Charlie Gibson (ABC News) and Katie Couric (CBS News) interviews, I’d say all Biden has to do is show up. Palin as a heartbeat away from the presidency would be incredibly hilarious if were not so disturbing. I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher or someone to pop out and tell the American people and the rest of the world that is watching that “You’ve been Punk’d!” I think we would all (even a few Republicans) let out a huge sigh of relief because it’s becoming more and more painful to listen to her in an interview and take her seriously. See Russia from Alaska. Dear, oh dear, me…

As for UK politics.

*sigh*

Gordon Brown. 

I feel sad for the fella. I really do. He was a good Chancellor and wanted the PM job so bad, for so long, and now, look. He has been besieged by one crisis after another since he took office, what with the Northern Rock saga, lost public information, the by-election in Scotland, and not to mention the 10p debacle that was his own doing. When I listened to his speech on Tuesday, I was willing him to hit it out of the park and while he did okay, I can’t quite say it did the trick. I like that he was direct and upfront in saying he is who he is – not a celebrity or trying to win a popularity contest (does he know he is in politics? does he know how it all works?)…I also liked how he insisted he will not be trotting his kids out for spreads in the mags, using them as “props”. Good on you, Gordy! But the rest of it, while he makes a bit of sense and seems competent to me, was a little flat and uninspiring and other than telling people you are going to put wads of cash into their accounts, I’m guessing they want to be inspired and wowed and given hope. They want to have confidence in you and “feel” you can pull it off – whatever “it” is that matters most to them.

Brown has an image problem. He seems a competent man, but because of his visible discomfort and lack of “pop and sizzle” (where have I heard that before?), he comes off looking rattled and deathly uncomfortable in his role. Nice touch with having his wife introduce him on Tuesday night, but he didn’t even look comfortable when he approached the podium and kissed her. I had to remind myself that was really his wife, quite frankly. Brown doesn’t need to be another Tony Blair. I’d REALLY rather he wouldn’t and please tell me what was the fuss about him in the first place??? I still don’t get it! (He lost points with me once Gee Dubya got hold of him!) Brown just needs to study the playbooks of the American politicians (NOT Sarah Palin, okay, Gordy?) and adapt it to UK politics. After all, there is only so much that the English sensibilities can take when it comes to most things American, I’m afraid. Even I get light-heartedly teased for my unfamiliar, across the pond friendliness and what they think is an American accent. (Note to self: Remind new lecturers on Monday to NOT ask me to give the “American perspective” on whatever it is we end up discussing in psychology and business tutorials!)

Anyway, it is what it is. Life goes on whatever the outcome. On Nov 4th it will be Obama or McCain and we shall have to wait and see if Brown will make it to the New Year, if that. What will be will be and in the meantime we will just have to put up with this painful reality show in America. (Big Brother, eat your heart out!)

What really matters is I have my new laptop AND my new telly and, for the moment at least, all seems right in my little world…

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~ by Carol-Ann Simmons on September 27, 2008.

One Response to “Catching Up”

  1. […] A Bermudian's View weighs in on the first US presidential debate and says he is looking forward to the upcoming vice-presidential debates: “Given what I’ve seen of Palin…I’d say all Biden has to do is show up. I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher…to pop out and tell the American people and the rest of the world that is watching that ‘You’ve been Punk’d!'” Posted by Janine Mendes-Franco  Print Version Share This […]

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