Last night, Joe Biden scorched emotional during closing statements in his debate with Paul Ryan:
â€œMy name is Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.,â€ said the vice president, his voice choking.
â€œOver the years I have been made an object of mockery and ridicule.
I have seen pictures of me in the most humiliating positions you can think of plastered across newspapers all over the world.
I have been treated as a punch line.
A fuckinâ€™ jester among kings.
But donâ€™t be fooled.
I am also a man who has touched sorrow.
And I am a son of a bitch who has spent nearly seven decades on the razorâ€™s edge and lived to tell the tale.
I may not say it often, and I may never say it again, but I wish to say to you now that I am also a man worthy of love.
And worthy of respect.â€
â€œThank you all so damn much,â€ Biden added.
â€œI justâ€¦I love this country, man.â€
Wiping his eyes, Biden then descended from the table and sat back down as the tearful and blindsided audience attempted to make sense of what they had just witnessed.
After nearly a full minute of deeply moving silence, Biden then whistled loudly and admitted to the assembled crowd that he had â€œa huge fuckinâ€™ woody right now.â€
— The Onion
Long, long, long ago, in a place seemingly far, far, far away, those two guys at the left joined one another in the first ever TV debate.
I’d just entered the sixth grade in September 1960 and life then was way-narrow — all of it was in black and white, right and wrong, USSR bad, USA good and never the twain shall meet, but whoa-little-boy, were we so f*cking naive or what?
Nixon turned out to be a crooked, racist asshole, while Kennedy went from saint to sinner, apparently chasing every skirt that swayed and with a legacy now not worth a half-dollar.
(Illustration found here).
Odd no more presidential debates until 1976 — political types could see how Nixon fared in the first ones.
And odd, too, Nixon reinvented TV campaigning in 1968 via the staged theater of the medium — this a comment on Joe McGinniss’ ‘The Selling of the President,’ published in 1969 and the advent of the political Mad Men:
This is the book that catapulted Joe McGinniss to nearly icon-status at the age of 25 in 1969.
At the time, it was a shockingly revealing book at how presidential candidate Richard Nixon was being sold — gasp — like a product.
The original book jacket featured Nixon’s face on a pack of cigarettes, as if the notion of Madison Avenue ad-men playing a pivotal role in a presidential campaign was dirty.
The book became such a classic that it remains assigned reading in many government classes to this day.
But it is no longer shocking.
Today, the practices described actually seem backward.
Rather than a jarring warning about how campaigns are trading issue discussions for staged events, it today might be read as an out-of-date how to book.
Nowadays, it’s way-way-more than just staged events, it’s just plain bullshit lying.
The world has totally gone to shit in a wire basket since those sixth-grade days, and most-likely life is going to get even shittier.