Sunday, April 08, 2007

Will '08 Be The "American Idol" Presidential Election?

Right now political bloggers and pundits by the caseload are getting red-eye from pouring over policy differences and fundraising breakdowns. But is the next presidential election going to be more about style than substance once it gets in front of the non-wonk voters?

From Arab News (H/t Kat) comes some (intentionally shallow) analysis:
Al Gore may be able to convert summer into winter, and win an Oscar for being the prophet of gloom, but every serious political pundit believes that he cannot really win the next election for president. Gore himself is in a mood to tease, saying no with such a heavy implied wink that it would take an extinct polar bear to miss the point. However, the pundits would prefer that he save his cash and stay at home. Why? Because he is still too fat to contest. Unless he loses about fifty pounds, he has no hope in this telegenic age. Television puts on ten pounds to your image, and Internet is worse, but that is where elections are won and lost these days. Weight shifts ratings down. The surprise package of this election season, Barack Obama, who stunned the system by raising as much in the first quarter as the Clintons ($25 million) is lean, lithe, lissome. His equivalent on the Republican side, Mitt Romney, might not be able to reach the White House, but he is a perfect candidate for any casting couch that wants a president in a soap opera or polopera. Romney has raised $20 million, largely from his fellow-Mormons, but I doubt if he would have survived if his stomach sagged like an obese gunny bag. Looks matter. Rudy Giuliani, the thrice-married mayor of New York during 9/11with a thrice married wife, moves with the light step of man who has known a treadmill on intimate terms. He is the current favorite, having overtaken yesterday’s frontrunner, John McCain. Has McCain slipped because of his expanding jowl? After all, we are still in the cosmetic stage of the campaign. Bill Clinton, who had begun to bloat as president, now looks like Cary Grant with a round nose, having cut down his consumption after his heart attack (barring ice creams, that is). Hillary is a bit stolid on the frame front, but fine. She has fat legs, but never shows them. That is why she always wears pants.
Could the next presidential election in '08 really be this simple? Surely not - if Americans made decisions on such a shallow and superficial basis, Sanjaya would still be in the American Idol competition.

oh wait...

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