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Friday, September 26, 2003

POLITICS, THE BEST KIND OF REALITY TV 

Arianna Huffington must be experiencing immigrant envy.

She displayed a nasty antipathy toward the "other" accent in the governor's race at this week's TV debate, making her sound like Eva Gabor after finding Eddie Albert in delecto with Ralph the carpenter. I was kept waiting for her to tell Arnold he should leave immediately and seek other accomodations "in Hootersville, darlink".

Huffington set the tone for repeated jawing between the two by intimating that Schwarzenegger's interruption of her was indicative of the way he is known to treat women. Of course, Arianna had no reservation about doing the interrupting when she felt the need to defend or declaim another candidates positions, but because it was Arnold in this case, it was an attack on women as a whole. Schwarzenegger, unfortunately, took the bait and offered her a part in a new Terminator movie, ostensibly a role that finds her with her head in a commode or on the cutting room floor.

As an experienced opportunist, Arianna could be expected to do what was necessary to win points, but her shrill personal attacks on Arnold painted a picture of pettiness and ill temperement derived from the Howard Dean school of campaigning. Huffington is an immensely talented and intelligent woman (aside from her choice of husbands), and could of used her time to demonstrate competance, vision and understanding instead of giving us a dead on imitation of Gray Davis.

Peter Camejo was initially impressive in his grasp of the issues and how he'd rectify the current problems. Too bad he drifted off at the end into the usual Green Party pablum about the US as the genesis of all the world's problems and effectively proposed that California should secede from the union and bring light and peace to a willing world. I almost thought he might call for annexation of Area 51 as the new temple of conciousness for the state and ask Shirley Maclaine to lead the invocation.

Cruz Bustamante was ....zzzzz...zzzzz..zzzz

Sorry there, drifted off.

Tom McClintock is admirable as a straight shooting right winger in a state that rejects said idealogy when selecting a governor. All of which means he will probably win and the Assembly will once again become grid-locked in a partisan pissing contest and we will be right back where we started in this mess.

Finally, Arnold. His handlers have taught him well. He said nothing substantial, didn't step in any deep doo-doo and had a couple of good retorts to Arianna's "hersteronics". He completed his course in debate 101 and got an A for abiding by the first law of political image, do thyself no harm. Whether he did himself any good is still to be determined.

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