The candidates on MNF

November 3rd, 2008  |  Tags: , ,  |  3 Comments

I just saw the much-hyped halftime interviews with the two presidential candidates. As you might expect, Berman’s quesions were largely breezy and insubstantial. Sen. Obama had a far better answer to the “What would you change about sports?” query (college football playoffs, vs. Sen. McCain’s concern about winning the war on performance-enhancing drugs) and seemed more vital overall, but he did egregiously misuse the first-person reflexive pronoun when he urged everyone to be sure to exercise their franchise “whether you’re supporting Sen. McCain or myself.” I’ll call it a push.

As much as each ad for Monday Night Football increased my dread for the prospect of ESPN injecting itself into the political process — it’s not hard to imagine the rush to the l.c.d. there1 — I think the format worked well for both candidates and served as sort of a palate cleanser before Election Day. Each was offered an opportunity to banter, elevate himself above the sludge of the campaign season, and give a weary republic, for an instant, a glimpse of why anyone liked either of these guys in the first place.

1 e.g. “What’s the most tired sports metaphor you can think of for your campaign?” “Next question.”, or an endless bracketed tournament of “Greatest Campaign Gaffes of All Time!” with commentary by Stephen A. Smith, Joe Thiesmann, and Eric Wynalda.

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September 5th, 2008  |  Tags: , , ,  |  Leave a comment


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