That sigh of relief you hear is mine, a guy pretty fed up with talk of super PACs and, of course, talk from those trying to get my vote. And despite the fact that, like Christmas decorations left up long after New Year‚??s Day, the signs for candidates will remain planted in the ground for several more weeks, this political season is over.
Now, I‚??ll admit that I‚??m intrigued by the drama that campaign seasons generate, especially the ones each four years when the big seat is also up for grabs, but there comes with that drama much that irks me.
Of course, the negative campaigning is overwhelming, and it seems to me that the races on the bigger stages are far dirtier than those closer to home. I think our local candidates, folks such as Matt Huffman and Bob Cupp, have forged reputations as having run pretty clean races.
As for the dirty politics, there was the card I received in the mail a few weeks ago that had the image of President Barack Obama in a train engineer‚??s hat and the image of a little girl screaming and running down the track with a train bearing down on her. The message was that the deficit is like that runaway train ready to run over the next generation, and it was a mailing so over the top in an attempt to gain political advantage that it would have been laughable had it appeared as a skit on ‚??Saturday Night Live.‚?Ě
Speaking of those cards, I decided to do a little tracking as to how many I received when I began to see more of them during the run-up. From Oct. 22 through Nov. 3, constituting 10 mailing days, I threw them in a basket. My tally (and this is not subject to recount since I saw no hanging chads) was 63, an average of more than six a day!
I‚??m also glad the debates are over. To be honest, I thought the moderators didn‚??t acquit themselves very well, and, in the vice presidential verbal joust, I would term the 69-year-old incumbent‚??s smirking and outright laughing virtually every time the 42-year-old hopeful was talking to be disrespectful behavior at best, deplorable, at worst.
I also grew pretty tired of the attempts of those who sought to influence votes by creating ads and, in one case, even a 95-minute documentary, without the approval of a candidate. How about political operative Rex Elsass, who helped get an ad on the air that intimated that Cupp‚??s opponent for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, Bill O‚??Neill, was sympathetic to rapists?
The 95-minute documentary came to my mailbox, compliments of Joel Gilbert, and it came without, from what I can tell, Romney‚??s approval. Called ‚??Dreams from My Real Father,‚?Ě the CD lays out a scenario where Obama is actually the son of the late Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist propagandist who espoused the beliefs of Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx and Josef Stalin.
Despite my rather Republican leanings, after watching it, I thought Gilbert‚??s scenario overtaxed the seams of credibility. I‚??ve just never been a real big fan of conspiracy theories, whether they‚??re about the government‚??s keeping secrets about UFOs or the real parentage of our president.
Finally, if I never hear another politician deliver a clich√©d football metaphor, it‚??ll be too soon. I heard so many, and there‚??s only one candidate I‚??m going to excuse.
Republican George Allen, who was challenging for the US Senate seat in Virginia, spoke of his hectic final campaigning schedule in the run-up days as his ‚??two-minute drill.‚?Ě
Just as I was about to groan yet again, intrigued by the name, I did a little Googling, and, lo and behold, Allen is the son of the former Washington Redskins head coach, George Allen. Because I can well imagine the number of football clich√©s George the Younger heard growing up, I am exonerating him.
However, the two-minute drill is over, and, at least for now, it‚??s game over!