Prior to the last week I began working on a speech for Barack Obama:
My fellow Americans, I stand before you today humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be the democratic standard bearer for President of the United States. I have traveled across this great country of ours and spoken to farmers and teachers, businessmen and laborers, people from every walk of life, every creed and color, all of them with a story to tell, all of them seeking a seat at the table, all of them clamoring to be heard and I've tried my best to listen and to explain how together we could change our politics, how our divisions could be rent asunder and that people who love their country can change it.
Turns out I was wrong. Shit's broke. Can't fix it.
Therefore it is only with deep sadness that I'm announcing my withdrawal from the race. If John McCain wants to be president so badly as to disgrace himself and our country on a daily basis, he can have it.
Fortunately for Obama, he's a cooler customer than me because the McCain Daily Freakout Express coupled with the Palin Gibberish Train have managed to drag McCain's candidacy lower than Michael Moore's scrotum in a 160 degree sauna all in the span of ten days.
When I watch the debates I am indeed tied to that CNN focus group dial tracking like it's my EKG reading, and in looking at the audience reactions to each candidate I was pretty sure the Obama was putting a very quiet and understated beat down on his republican rival. To an undecided voter Obama would have looked reasonable, concerned and measured. McCain was a crank. Every time McCain went into one of his "great moments in the history of John McCain" spiels, the dials looked like the Dow whenever news of a bailout deal looked unlikely.
A perfect example of how the debate plays to an undecided voter came with my own personal favorite moment, when both candidates sparred over custody of a many times discredited war criminal.
Now, you know and I know and the tie-dye wearing radicals of Berkeley know that Kissinger has his very own suite in Hell waiting for him, but the undecided voter only remembers that he's the guy who talks funny and maybe knows something.
I'm sure that this drove the Obama's liberal supporters crazy, but the pragmatists among us should take it as a sign that he means to win.
McCain's central argument seems to be that he should be president because he should be president, but that's not an argument at all. It's like a parent telling his kid they can't have something because they're the parent and they said so. His emphasis on cutting earmarks as the lynchpin to federal fiscal sanity is like an NFL head coaching candidate saying that he's going to make sure all the players have tied their shoes before they hit the field, a perfectly good idea that means absolutely nothing.
So, at the moment, things are looking good for Obama, but with the economic meltdown, President of the United States is looking like the booby prize.
Quick quiz, and death is not an option: Which job would you rather have, President of the United States or general manager of the Detroit Lions?