Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Comedy of Errors

Historically, Presidential debates are proving grounds to prepare candidates to become the leader of the free world, but this election year viewers may think they are watching outtakes from the NBC series Last Comic Standing. Is it possible that one of the contenders, after reading the poll numbers, has his eye on a different prize?

According to the AP's Nedra Pickler, Senator John Kerry "was cracking up his partisan crowd" at one campaign stop and "he drew guffaws" at another. This is news worthy of a Fox alert, although considering the source I will wait for confirmation from CBS.

Pickler reports that "Bush has been effectively using humor" against Kerry, an understated description of the incumbent's folksy, self-deprecating style. The President's reputation for well-timed one-liners makes him the favorite to score laughs Thursday night, but perhaps Senator Kerry like Al Gore in 2000 will provide most of the hilarity, albeit unintentionally.

Pickler cites this example of the Kerry wit, which owes much to the dry minimalism of Jimmy Carter:

"You're going to hear all this talk, `Oh, we've turned the corner, we're doing better, blah, blah,'" he said, running on the phrase as his Wisconsin audience erupted in laughter. "You know, blah and blah and blah."

The same routine elicited nary a chuckle as Kerry worked the MTV crowd during the primaries (pictured below). Far be it from me to expect honesty from the AP or consistency from Senator Kerry, but he really needs to hone his schtick if he wants to replace Conan O'Brien in 2009.

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