Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just a Guy Named Joe

News and views.

News: Barack Obama selects Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.

Views: Joe Biden?

The same Joe Biden who said of Obama, “ I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy…”

The same Joe Biden who said, “You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin'Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. Oh, I'm not joking."

The same Joe Biden who said in June, “I'd make a great president. I'd make a great Secretary of State. I'd make a great vice president. There are a lot of people out there who want the job. I'm not one of them… (But) you'd have to take it. There's not a single, solitary person who, with Barack Obama as the presidential nominee in this most historic of races, who if asked would say 'no.' I wouldn't say 'no.' I hope he doesn't ask me….”

What, was Yogi Berra unavailable?

If Obama wants to capture the imagination of voters by bringing change to Washington, he might have done better than a 65-year-old insider with foot-in-mouth disease and a Senator Beauregard Claghorn approach to stump politics.

OK, he’s a blue collar guy and is considered an expert on foreign affairs, both attributes the Obama campaign is seeking to exploit.

But when you hear the slogan, “Change We Can Believe In,” do you think of Joe Biden? I don’t.

It all goes to show that while the vice president may only be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, it’s not a job that makes the pulse race.

Who ever voted for Dan Quayle or Dick Cheney?

News: It seems like only yesterday the Summer Olympics were in full bloom.

Views: Actually, it was only a week ago. And it was a memorable event, filled with spectacle and excitement not to mention suppression of dissent and lots of “spontaneous” enthusiasm by the Chinese fans.

NBC drew high marks and the event itself was watched by the largest viewing audience in the history of TV.


I could have done without announcer Chris Collingsworth, who conducted a one-man love-in, gushing over everyone and every place he saw. He praised the Chinese people for their unflagging hospitality which leads me to believe he didn’t ask them about human rights or freedom of expression and he kept his distance from the military, whose members appeared to have had any hint on kindness in their faces surgically removed.

And I hope I’ve heard the last of Bella Karolyi, who game new meaning to the term sore loser by ripping judges and athletes of whom he didn’t approve in a voice that sounded chillingly like Dracula.

He directed most of his wrath at the Chinese who he accused on using under-age Munchkins in the women’s gymnastics competition.

I happen to believe he was right.

I’ve seen bigger athletes at Mommy and Me classes. For example, Deng Linlin is 4-foot-6, 68-pounds.Jiang Yuyuan, is 4-7 and 70 pounds.

On the other hand, NBC failed to mention that Japan’s Koko Tsurumi is 4-7 and 75 pounds. Russia’s Ksenia Semenova is 4-6 and 77 pounds. Japan’s team average is just 4-10 and 82.5 pounds.

By comparison, Shawn Johnson of the U.S. is checks in at 4-foot-9 and 90 pounds, a virtual summo wrestler compared to some of the competition.

Size matters in gymnastics.

I’m not saying it wasn’t a legitimate point. I’d just rather hear it from someone who didn’t sound like he was about to bite me on the neck.

While were at it, I could also do without platform diving, team handball, synchronized swimming and field hockey.

Speaking of the Olympics, is the best the Brits could offer at the closing ceremonies was the inevitable David Beckham and Jimmy Paige?

It’s bad enough Paige can’t sing anymore, but then they had to tone down the lyrics to “Whole Lotta Love” which was deemed too sexually explicit for a bunch of 20-something athletes.

Couldn’t he have done “Stairway to Heaven” instead? Or better yet, invite Ringo to sing “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

News: John McCain is endorsed by Daddy Yankee.

Views: No, Daddy Yankee is not another name for Uncle Sam. Indeed, Daddy Yankee is big star among some elements of our younger generation, a musician whose dabbles in something called raggaeton.

This was no offhand endorsement. The two men appeared together in Phoenix where Yankee (or Daddy if you know him well enough) said that McCain is “a fighter for the Hispanic community” and “a fighter for the immigration issue.’’

Replied McCain, “I just want to say thank you, Daddy Yankee.’’

According to the New York Times, Daddy Yankee, a native of Puerto Rico, had a smash hit a few years back called “Gasolina.”Although its catchy refrain, “Dame mas gasoline,’’ or give me more gasoline, fits in nicely with Mr. McCain’s “drill here, drill now” message these days, the Times reported, it is usually understood as a double entendre that has little to do with fossil fuels.

All of which would have caused smiles at Obama headquarters if they didn’t have their own celebrity headaches.

Singer Madonna, never one known to practice moderation in thought or deed, kicked off her latest world tour with images of McCain, Adolf Hitler, Robert Mugabe, starving children and global warming, all wrapped up in one multimedia spectacular.

In the meantime, Obama was depicted as Gandhi and John Lennon.

Poor Barack. Next thing you know, he’ll be endorsed by the Dixie Chicks.

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