About 25 people showed up at the Fort Bend Democrats Rosenberg headquarters to watch the debate. It was a pot luck affair. I brought my world's famous pasta salad. And, yes, it is a very good salad. We sat around and ate and talked, then when 7 o’clock rolled around, the volume was turned up and all you could hear coming from the TV speakers were clicks and beeps. Panic sets in. Then Don pressed a button on the remote and the problem went away. Sigh. Wish that were true with this election: Don just hits a button on the remote and all of our Republican problems just go away.
The candidates were introduced, then when Perry’s well coiffed and combed hair and eyebrows appeared on our wide screen TV, 7 nerf balls hit the TV screen. That’s a side benefit to watching a political debate on TV with your political friends: they bring nerf balls.
Who won the debate? Well let’s just say that the Republican gentlemen were full of ums, ers, pregnant pauses, and occasional looks of panic. When Grandma wanted to answer a question she would just open a file drawer and pull out a snippet from a speech or a campaign ad. Chris Bell was by far the best prepared, most spontaneous, and had the best tan of all of them – especially Grandma, jeez woman did they use a trowel to apply your makeup?
Best one liner? Bell: Something to the effect that he was very happy to appear on this debate with his three Republican opponents.
Best implosion? Grandma: Didn’t know the name of the newly elected Mexican president, could not recall how long a person’s state disability lasted.
Grandma’s politics were thrust out into the open tonight. She’s not a Democrat, although she ran as one once, she’s not a Republican, although that is the party she ran under when she got into her present office. And she’s not an Independent, because she was once of one party and then the other. What Grandma is, is a political opportunist. Whatever works for her, that is what she is.
And Kinky? I’ve not mentioned Kinky by name. I can’t figure him out. When he wasn’t on the defensive, I’d swear that he was actually stumping for Chris Bell. He essentially gave Bell one of his questions, allowed him to slam their mutual opponent, Rick Perry. Kinky did not use his air time to show that he is a serious candidate. He just reconfirmed in everyone’s mind that he cannot and should not hold this office.
Perry? What can I say about Perry. Nothing. I will say nothing about Perry. Nothing.
So we all agreed that Chris Bell won handily. We shared more time with each other, and studied and discussed a couple of new political mailers that had been received by a couple of club members. Negative campaigns have begun in earnest. No more making nice. And it made me recall an often quoted line by Robert Browning:
“Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.