bus cliff 1Watching the last debate I was struck by the stylistic differences between the candidates. Obama was relaxed and confident. McCain was at times breathless and awkward, making silly comments that were largely pointless.  And what the hell was he writing on that pad? He began making notes the moment he sat down. I had to wonder if he was writing down talking points so he wouldn’t forget them. Or perhaps it was a job application. In any case, his restlessness was distracting and made me think he had too much coffee and was doing the pee dance.

Three national debates have demonstrated several points: Obama/Biden are better informed, more focused, and are running a more skilled campaign. On the other side, McCain/Palin are lurching uncontrollably towards defeat, and appear to be determined to look as unpresidential as possible in the process.

This is what desperation and a bankrupt political philosphy buys you. Neither McCain nor Palin have condemned surrogates’ race-baiting, and there are more than enough examples of sleaze, mud (slud?), xenophobia, and just plain meanness to last us until the next election. Even Cindy McCain has risked reversing her cosmetic touchups by actually speaking in public, accusing Obama of not supporting troops being deployed overseas. Nevermind that her husband opposed more generous educational benefits to returning service members.

Presumably when you’re running for office you make a point of using your best material to sell yourself and your platform. If your best material is what we’ve been witnessing lately from McCain, you’re in deep dooty and all but the Republican faithful see it.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska, more hypocrisy and corruption are oozing to the surface. Shannyn Moore has been steadfastly reporting on these events and those who think Palin is the future of the Republican party would do well to check in with Shannyn. David Brooks described Palin as a “cancer” for the party. If that’s the case, the patient is terminal or will have a very long recovery.