Don't you just love these news cycles? First Michelle Obama makes a statement that was either misquoted or misunderstood. That gets obliterated by the New York Times supposed swipe at John McCain. That gets obliterated by riots in Kosovo. Who will do what in tonight's debate and how will it get wiped away? Or will it?
It's rather a good thing the world continues to turn as it does. Otherwise we'd be so consumed by misinformation, all this election hype would be for naught. We'd have tuned out long ago. But there is just enough news keeping the cycles going that we come back to see what, if anything, has been missed in the interim.
Take this latest episode about McCain. He is no angel and no matter how soft spoken he delivers caveats about his human fraililties, it doesn't erase them. He has character issues ranging from the Keating Five to a hair trigger temper to an ego that prohibits his seeing his own penchant for misjudgement. This man who would be President.
The discussions regarding whether or not this New York Times fiasco will hurt or help him also points to how the media often does more to confuse then to clarify. The pundits, not the Times, are making it an issue about sex; did he have an affair with a lobbyist. It's not about that at all. It's about whether a rather hypocritical stance about lobbyists, brought to the fore by his close association with this woman, might come back to haunt him. The idea that aides worried it might go beyond that is secondary.
If the lobbyist was a man, the true issue might be explored. Maybe we're still not over Bill Clinton where there seemed to be a skirt attached to just about everything.
As I was browsing photos for this post, this one seems to come out of the "standard issue" file for politicians. The politician in front of the microphone denying, categorically, shocked, dismayed, disappointed - but innocent of any and all accusations by those right or left wing hate mongers, or the press, out to get him.
Always there, standing stoically by his side, is the wife. Eyes cast down. The tight, forced smile in place. How many times have we seen this photo? Different names, different faces yet very much the same. I wonder what goes through her mind.