Monday, September 29, 2008

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: No Bailout Deal, Post-Debate Analysis, SNL Skits

No Bailout Deal

I, along with the rest of the world, thought for sure that there'd be a bailout deal approved by the House of Representatives today. Certainly John McCain and Barack Obama thought there'd be one. McCain -- who "suspended" (only not so much suspended) his presidential campaign and said he wouldn't attend last Friday's presidential debate until there was a deal in place to avert an economic catastrophe -- must be in need of a cloth to wipe that egg off his face right now in the face of the House shooting down a bailout package today in dramatic fashion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi certainly didn't help advance the delicate negotiations by wielding a stick in the form of some highly partisan remarks on the House floor for what was supposed to be a bipartisan, castor oil-like proposal. (See an NBC video about the House talks, including an excerpt of Pelosi's actual speech -- versus the text of her remarks -- here.)

An NBC analyst said that those who voted against the measure -- which they said their constituents opposed -- are in tough re-election fights. If there's anyway to come up with a temporary stop-gap measure until after the election (if that's even possible), that might be the only way something's going to get the green light in the face of such fierce public backlash.

So the Dow plunged and Capitol Hill is in an uproar. What will this mean politics-wise? A big, fat mess, although the folks in the cable news business will likely score better ratings. Well, one thing's for sure . . . Hank Paulson is rapidly becoming a household name.

Post-Debate Analysis

I think McCain and Obama fared about even on Friday night. There were no knock-out blows. No memorable lines. No awful gaffes. But I must say, I'm already sick of hearing the words "naive" and "he doesn't understand" being worked into numerous McCain responses to questions. I kept waiting for both candidates to get all fired up or do something we'd all remember, like sigh, glance at a wristwatch, walk menacingly toward one other, or quip, "There you go again." Alas, I was disappointed, though, substantively, I felt I gained insight into the specific foreign policy positions of both candidates.

As the pundits tended to agree that the candidates fared equally well, a USA Today/Gallup poll found that 46 percent of debate-watchers thought Obama emerged the winner, while 34 percent thought McCain got the better of his Democratic counterpart. A CNN poll had similar results, with 51 percent saying Obama was the winner, 38 percent saying McCain was the winner.

SNL Skits

No ill-advised, offensive incest jokes were featured during this past weekend's Saturday Night Live, but there were several political skits that accurately hit their targets, including Tina Fey reprising her role as Sarah Palin. The News Update nailed Bill Clinton's ambivalence toward Obama's campaign, as Fey captured the wretched awkwardness of the real Palin-Katie Couric interview from last week that was, I'm sorry to say, painful to watch. Fey's finger-in-the-air bit: Priceless. (Watch the three political SNL skits here.)

Question: Do you think SNL has gone too far in parodying Palin? Think such satire will create backlash and sympathy for Palin?

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