Tale of Two Drop-Outs
As the presidential field has whittled down further, I noticed some stark contrasts between the two. According to the media I was reading and listening to, the proud Democrat John Edwards was serenaded as a trailblazer, a man of the people, a hero - while the moderate Republican Rudy Giuliani was mocked for "living an illusion."
While only a few news establishments were surprised by Giuliani's announcement (and subsequent endorsement of fellow moderate John McCain) after his distant third-place finish in Florida. Edwards' decision must have shocked at least one person -- New York Times reporter Julie Bosman, after her Tuesday story (Pops the NYTimes article) portraying Edwards as the Energizer Bunny, motoring on and becoming a possible kingmaker at the Democratic convention. Oops.
Edwards got sound bites. Edwards was put on a pedestal. A man choosing to step aside so that history could sweep through. In other words, a chick or Tiger Woods can top the party ticket. As if he really thought he was going to stop either of those two events happening? I suppose that by getting out of the way he did understand he wasn't going to stop one of those events from happening.
But when the "other" story of the day came about, it was a comedy piece. The story of his Dizzying Fall For Ex-Mayor, by the tag team of Michael Powell and Michael Cooper, that showed little respect for Giuliani. On NPR - the reporter took Rudy's Leadership Book-on-tape and played portions of it, mostly to mock the author. "Should have listened to page 40." "Had he re-read chapter 6..." and so forth. He attacked Rudy on every level. The reporter laughed at his strategy to out-smart the process by focusing on one winner-take-all state, and ignoring Iowa and Nevada. He was mocked for spending in New Hampshire, but abandoning it when his poll numbers changed. He was attacked for not gathering better advisors, and for accidentally sending out an email with his weaknesses. Overall the report was very demeaning, childish and it was an idea I was going to do here on Blasphemes a while back but never got around to looking at the book.
At one point the joke was that Giuliani had sold more books than he had earned votes.
My complaint isn't that the NPR guy was wrong, but that their "All Things Considered" didn't play fair. There should have been an equally satisfyingly hilarious look at how John Edwards still thinks and is convinced that poor people vote. Poor people don't vote! You'd think he would have figured that out the first time he ran for President - lost - and lost by being attached to John Kerry. There should have been a further kicking and punching once the man was down perhaps by mentioning that his "populist" campaign wasn't very effing popular!
There was no balance, or even attempt at balance.
Cap'n's Bottom Line? They both ran terrible games, and should be mocked equally!