Oy! I seriously think I’ll have a head full of gray hair and will have lost 30 pounds by the time this election is over. I’ve noticed that I get chest pains every time I turn on CNN these days. I think I’ve developed a bad case of electionosis (election fatigue, rapid heartbeat at the mentioning of the word “poll,” sudden violent outbursts while watching Fox News, insomnia, mood swings from highly optimistic to depressing hopelessness). Can I get a 12-step program, please?!
The latest incident, which has raised my heart rate, is an accusation from the McCain camp that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin “a pig.” It’s almost as if they were waiting to pounce on any innocent comment from Barack and frame it as sexist. Does the truth mean nothing these days?
On Tuesday, Obama criticized McCain's economic policies as similar to those of President Bush, saying: "You can put lipstick on a pig ... it's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years." The McCain campaign accused Obama of “smearing” Palin in “offensive and disgraceful” comments and demanded an apology. Interestingly, McCain used the same metaphor a few times last year, including once to describe Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan.
Last night, Anita Dunn, a senior campaign adviser, called the McCain attack a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy - the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan just last year." Even Gov. Mike Hukabee said on Fox News: "I'm going to have to cut Obama some slack on that one. I do not think he was referring to Sarah Palin."
I’ve concluded that we’ve reached a low point in the election where it appears to look more and more like a junior high spat or an episode of the “Hills.” And the media is that self-conscious gossipaholic girl who looks for any opportunity to instigate and cause trouble. “And then Barack was all like, 'oh no you didn’t.' And then McCain was like 'oh yes I did and by the way, you’re sexist. Plus, you’re not invited to my birthday party. So there.'"
The only people benefiting from this back-and-forth from the campaigns is the media. The American people aren’t benefiting and we’re learning that much of what has been said over the last few weeks is a half-truth or a lie such as the fact that Bristol Palin’s babyfather is a 26-year-old black guy and that Oprah refused to let Sarah Palin on her show. I’m getting to the point where I’ve taken an “every other approach” with campaign coverage, which means that I believe every other rumor I hear from the blogs and the media. I know that it’s so convenient and pathetic to blame the media for everything but it does appear that most comments would go entirely unnoticed were it not for news outlets that obsess and elevate any and every quasi-criticism.
For those of you, like myself, who have been battling electionosis – I encourage you to stay strong! It’s been a rough few weeks with polls, the campaign he-said-she-said, and the straight-up lies coming out of the mouths of the GOP (more so than usual). I received an email this week that said “Buck Up.” Totally what I needed to hear to get reinvigorated, look beyond the daily spats and get focused on what really matters. So the next time you hear someone complaining about the latest attack or faux pas, remind them that the numbers are still on our side, there's plenty of time left and pass on some optimism. I remember reaching this exact breakdown point towards the end of the primary. This too will pass, my friends.
Check out the McCain campaign ad blasting Barack Obama's 'lipstick' quip: