Having covered the 10 dumbest things said so far on the campaign trail, it’s time to visit the 10 most annoying and played — in many cases, overplayed — issues of the primary and general election seasons that have dominated news cycles:
10. Pastor disaster: The first in a slew of Obama is anti-American themes. This one dominated a while during the primaries — Obama’s association with his (now) former pastor Jeremiah Wright, a crazed zealot with his God d— America! spewing. Hillary Clinton played this one to the hilt, but in the end her prayers weren’t answered. Even McCain hasn’t gone to the Wright stuff. Yet. And he’s tried everything else, including …
9. Terrorist ties. No, it’s not an Obama wardrobe malfunction,but rather what was his association with ’60s radical Bill Ayers. Not just a news cycle on Fox News — but a 24/7 obsession. Remains to be seen if it has any effect on the election. It won’t matter to Fox — now they’re trying to tie Obama to a PLO extremist, failing to mention that McCain may have some ties to this guy’s organization. Fox will overplay it like this: Obama is a novice to anything presidential, but a pro with the PLO.
8. The Katie Couric interviews with Sarah Palin: The Alaska gov showed America why it’s important for a presidential candidate to actually do a better job when vetting a potential running mate. A lot of traction here for comics to hit the ground running while Palin tried to tread water. Palin’s weaknesses were exposed while the GOP was trying to disguise them by keeping her under wraps.
7. Obama the celebrity: The Dem candidate’s big crowd in Berlin made the GOP try to paint him as an empty suit — “the most famous celebrity in the world — but is he ready to lead” campaign attack ran for several news cycles. They even put Spears and Hilton in the ad, suggesting “here comes Mandingo after our women.” In retrospect, the ad was rendered meaningless because the GOP created a celebrity of their own in Palin.
6. Obama the socialist: Who wants to take your hard-earned money and give it to someone else? Who wants to spread the wealth around? “That one.” He’s Rev. Wright preaching socialism. Never mind that America suddenly turned to socialism with its bailout plan to combat the financial tsunami.
5. Obama the Muslim: See Obama the celebrity or Obama the socialist or Terrorist ties.
4. The news media is ga-ga over Obama: Some truth to this one — but it would be more effective if it wasn’t always used by the GOP when they see an election slipping away. Attack the messenger is as tried and true as aGOP fact that no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio. Funny how the GOP this time around doesn’t mention how the media loved John McCain in 2000 — eight years before he surrendered to Karl Rove and the Dark Side.
3. McCain’s erratic behavior during the financial meltdown: This one was overplayed because the GOP candidate himself had — or thought he had — possession of the ball. Well, he ran the wrong routes on several downs. Oh yes, McMeltdown is the great Suspend-er — suspending his campaign to fight for us in the Senate during the crisis; or maybe canceling the first debate because he had to be there for us. Neither one happened. He was forced to punt in his own end zone.
2. Joe the Plumber or “The the duh”: This most annoying campaign tactic just misses being No. 1 because, much to our dismay, it’s still being forced down our throats like some bitter pill that in the end won’t make us feel any better about ourselves. Hearing John the redundant Republican seethe it out of both sides of his mouth is bad enough. Hearing Palin screech Susie the Seamstress or Bob the barber or Dennis the Menace is making my ears bleed.A terrific headline in our newspaper aptly described the financial meltdown — and it also could be used for this awful campaign strategy: Make it stop!
1. Lipstick on a pig: Not only the most outrageous distracting issue of this campaign but maybe the most obnoxious and petty non-issue in campaign history. It went on longer than thought humanly possible. It was so a part of the sheepish news media lexicon, it took an epic economic crisis to finally drive a stake through its heart. Never mind that the lipstick schtick was revived somewhat when you factor in the GOP’s boneheaded move to spend big bucks on Palin’s make-up. Which kind of makes this a shared No. 1. Like sharing the wealth — of ridiculous rhetoric that drives us poor voters to steer clear of Election Day because neither party deserves to cash in.
If only Ralph Nader hadn’t become an awful parody of himself….