Jon: What were your impressions of Ted & the Kennedys? He looked pretty good, considering.
Ted: He did a very good job. Kennedy finished probably his last political speech, and it was nice to hear and see him look so vibrant.
Jon: If, as you say, this was Ted’s last political speech, it was certainly high on emotion…if utterly devoid of substance. It was as though he were running purely on motor memory…how to give a rollicking speech full of Kennedy-esque rhetoric, without actually saying something. I found it interesting to hear him speak within 24 hours of reading news reports of Margaret Thatcher’s rapidly advancing dementia. An era is ending, a generation of leaders is falling by the wayside–and I don’t (merely) mean to be snarky when I note that John McCain is only four years younger than Ted, seven years younger than Thatcher. Chris Matthews put it succinctly: “We have watched a Kennedy grow old.”
Ted: He’s a guy who represents the last of the liberals who have attracted so much ire from the Right. Kennedy’s brand of liberalism (characterized by the term “Big Government”) is one that became increasingly marginalized by both the Right and the DLC since the ’80s. To end up on the stage talking about Obama — whom he supported in the primaries — was a nice passing of the torch to a candidate who’s not a Kennedy liberal or a Clinton/DLC type.
Jon: Interesting perspective you have–though I actually think Obama is more of a Kennedy liberal than he would want to admit to the nation in general.
Ted: I don’t really see the same kind of “Big Government” stuff coming from Obama, but…
Jon: It was fascinating watching the choreography of Ted Kennedy’s appearance play out. Beforehand, Caroline Kennedy, John Kerry and others claimed they didn’t know whether Ted would speak at all, and on MSNBC Olbermann and Matthews seemed not to know either. After allowing that suspense to build, only afterward did Olbermann, without a hint of apology or irony, begin his analysis with, “They told us that speech would be four minutes long”–making clear that they knew the speech would be happening all along. I wonder if Fox made the same effort to build suspense for an audience full of Kennedy-haters; heck, I wonder if Fox showed Ted’s speech without contemporaneous heckling from Hannity. Maybe a Fox viewer can let us know…
Ted: I had a tough time watching Fox for that reason. It seemed like they put the speeches in the background while Hannity, Rove, Hume, whomever, goes on and on about what they think is going to happen, rather than watching a speech and talking about after. Prior to Michelle Obama’s speech, Rove was saying things like “Her role is to give us an insight into Barack, and how these people will act as the first couple.” He kept saying “These people,” and I half expected Robert Downey jr., to pop up in full black face and say: “Huh? What do you mean these people.”
Jon: By the way, I’ve heard the words “Cosby” and “Huxtable” at least four or five times on MSNBC today. Will Barack accept the nomination with a multicolored sweater on, sucking on a Pudding Pop?
Ted: Hahaha. (Gasp) Good lord! Michelle is a year older than I am.
Jon: Well, I definitely feel that I need to be president within the next five years, or else my life will be a failure.
Michelle Obama biographical video is playing.
Jon: She’s really kinda hot. I’m wondering if she’s gonna launch into one of those playful insults of Barack that she seems to like so much. By the way, doesn’t Barack seem to have aged quite a bit since the end of primary season?
Ted: I guess loss of sleep will do that to you. You know, Michelle is kind of hot. I can see why Barack made a move … but by offering to buy ice cream?
Jon: At least he didn’t buy her a falafel…
Ted: Or a Burka.
Jon: My wife’s already weeping with love for Michelle.
Ted: My wife is asleep on the couch.
Craig Robinson is on stage introducing Michelle
Jon: Well, there it is, the Brady Bunch reference.
Ted: That means they are not from Neptune. Or Mars…
Jon: Or Kenya or Indonesia–maybe. Do they get The Brady Bunch in Nairobi?
Michelle Obama’s Speech
Ted: Here’s Michelle! (cue music) Stevie Wonder? Wow! She is hot.
Jon: My wife Gwen says her first impression is that Michelle’s dress is soft and feminine, and shows off her fit upper body. Gwen’s also happy that Michelle’s not trying to look like a political robot wife. As for Michelle’s makeup … Gwen says it’s fantastic — and Cindy McCain should take a lesson.
Ted: Michelle’s hot. She works out …I can tell. And I’m going to hell.
Jon: Calm down. Your wife may be asleep, but she’s right next to you.
Ted: You’re bringing morality into this?
Jon: No, but I’m not ready to plunge into full-blown lust for the wife of a presidential candidate. Though it must be said, maybe Michelle should have entered that beauty contest at the motorcycle rally instead of Cindy.
Jon: Michelle is almost as good a speaker as Barack. She’s also a much better speaker than Bill Clinton’s wife. What was her name again?
Ted: Michelle’s great! She’s warm, intelligent, and it’s clear she hates America.
Jon: Yeah! Why is she wearing green? Isn’t that one of the colors on the Iranian flag? What’s the matter with good old red, white and blue? That’s what Cindy will be wearing.
Ted: Cindy’s wearing a flag? Oh, that’s hot.
Jon: When Michelle talks about her life and then says, “Isn’t that the great American story?” it’s a little too on the nose.
Ted: Too forced? The speech is getting preachy now. Kind of like my introductory post for this feature.
Shot of Joe Biden
Ted: Nice smile, Joe. Nice hair, too. Fucker.
Jon: I love Joe. Almost as much as Michelle — though not in the same way … What? Michelle says she loves this country, and it gets a standing ovation? Is that some sort of revelation?
Ted: I think the Dems finally heard Michelle say she doesn’t hate America.
Big campaign themes in the speech
Ted: Jobs! Health care! Education! End the War! Tell me, when were jobs, education, and health care not part of the Democratic party platform – post-WWII?
Jon: The Democrats need to point out how McCain plays himself as the military hero, but votes against every benefit the vets will deserve when they come home.
Ted: Rachel Maddow was saying on MSNBC that McCain is using his POW status to neutralize, well, everything he might have done wrong in his life and political career.
Jon: That’s the disconnect that hasn’t been pointed up nearly enough so far. You know, the difference between McCain’s image and his actions.
Ted: I hope Obama will point out that disconnect.
Michelle Obama ends her speech by saying: “God bless America.”
Ted: “God Bless America.” There. Democrats aren’t godless.
Jon: There was a fascinating article in the New York Times “Week in Review” section yesterday. It was about how Obama’s story fits into the American iconography of the restless spirit (i.e., trying to make up for not having a father around, or trying to prove something to your father … wandering from place to place, a general rootlessness). That’s what the end of Michelle’s speech reminded me of. It also reminds me of Don Draper on Mad Men. Gwen thinks he’s very hot. So there you have it … Obama is Don Draper. Gwen can have Don for a night, I’ll take Michelle.
Ted: My wife Julie is concerned that I’m leaving her for Michelle ’cause I was singing “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker jr. when I was downloading pictures of her.
And thus endeth the objectification of Michelle Obama. On to Hillaryfest on Tuesday!