Books and Covers

Sen. Obama

Sen. Obama

Well, I got sucked into watching the final presidential debate. I really wasn’t interested, and unlike last time, I wasn’t glad that my husband suckered me into watching with him.

I thought McCain came out throwing, and landing, punches. That was what he really needed to do. If he’d been doing that all along, he might have had more success, but this is the last debate, so not much chance that this will be his “game changer” which is the new favorite phrase.

I’m surprised that anyone is still on the fence about these two guys. They are quite dissimilar. In 2004, Kerry and Bush had voted similarly on a number of issues, even though Kerry was far more liberal than W. They also had similar wealthy upbringings and had been members of Skull and Bones. However, McCain and Obama don’t have many similarities other than a delusion of grandeur that anyone requires when running for leader of the free world. Everything about them, from their upbringing, their paths into politics, their education, their skin color and their plans for the future of the country are different.

However, I do understand that it’s a lot to muddle through and people may feel differently about several different issues, making a choice between the two tough to decide. Obama, while getting most of the support so far, is yet to get people decidedly in his corner. I’m not sure what he needs to do to accomplish that, but needless to say, on November 4th, people are going to choose one way or the other. I wonder how much of this is “the Bradley effect.” I wonder if people not committing to Obama is a matter of race, or of the fear that has been engendered about him being an Arab, or a muslim, or even a terrorist. I’m not saying it is, it’s just a thought.

Because this is a tough election with so much at stake, everything is being analyzed, down to the demeanor of the candidates. McCain is snarky and angry-looking. Obama is calm, collected and appears conceited. There was even an analyst on CNN this morning who looks at facial expressions and analyzes what they mean and how people interpret them. So what does the picture below say about McCain?

What is McCain saying?

I’m actually a fan of this. I was first introduced to in in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink. And I consider myself a fair judge of people’s expressions. It’s something that I think people read into things without even thinking about them. But does the color on the surface of the face trump the muscle action below it? Again, it’s hard to say. People say they don’t want to judge a book by it’s cover, but ultimately it’s what publishers and marketing directors and art directors spend a lot of time and money hoping for. And in a race that hinges on so many things, it may come down to which face/cover people feel more comfortable inviting into their livingrooms for the next 4 and possibly 8 years.

The election is still a toss-up and at 19 days to go, it’s nerve-wracking. I think it might be worse than the Bush/Kerry countdown 4 years ago. But let me throw you a bone. If one of your issues is education, the education advisers of both campaigns will debate live at Teacher’s College in Columbia University next week. You can register to view the debate live, here.

Don’t say I just wax poetic. I give you information you can use.


2 thoughts on “Books and Covers

  1. Amanda says:

    I completely agree with you about not understanding how people can say they are undecided at this point. I can see agreeing with both sides on different issues, but you must have certain issues you feel more strongly about and that must sway you one way or the other, since these two guys disagree on just about everything. It is just hard for me to understand someone being totally “in the middle.” I often hear people say that, but then when they talk about politics you can tell that they are not at all in the middle. They might be on one or two issues, but at heart they are either liberal or conservative.

    In my opinion, when people say they are undecided in this election, it means they know who they are going to vote for but don’t want to tell people (which is certainly their right). And in the case of not wanting to vote for Obama but not wanting to admit that you are not, I do think it most often has to do with racism, either consciously or unconsciously, and that makes me quite nervous for November, even though all the polls show that Obama will win right now according to electoral college votes.

  2. yecarth says:

    My husband thinks that the people who are undecided are Republicans who can’t believe that they have to vote for a Democrat.

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