Did you all watch the debate this week? Most Americans didn’t, so I had to ask. Here’s what you missed—such as it was.
Jim Webb, former Senator from Virginia, had the loveliest deep voice on the stage. Unfortunately for him, he got the least amount of time of any candidates, and he spent too much of that little time complaining about how little time he was getting. But he did it in that lovely voice. With great earnestness.
On the other side of the stage was Lincoln Chafee, who is the possessor of the whitest name I’ve ever heard that isn’t Schuyler. He threw a little shade in his opening remarks about having a long career in politics without ever having a scandal. The camera, unfortunately, did not catch an eyeroll from Hillary. Most sincere, most earnest. I was left wondering how a politican who held office for 17 years—including a seven year stint as a Republican (yes, Republican) senator from Rhode Island—could be so boring. Not to mention an unfortunate green tie choice. Just saying.
Bernie Sanders, the most career of the career politicians on the stage (33 years in elected office), delivered his socialist message about income inequality and the billionaire class and evil Wall Street with all the passion and earnestness that has made him Hillary’s number one rival for the Democratic nomination. On a sartorial note, his suit was well cut and freshly pressed. As was his hair.
I’m saving the best for last, so I’ll talk about Hillary next. (Funny how we’re on a first name basis with her, isn’t it?) Secretary Clinton (that’s better) was a bit understated in a smartly cut blue pantsuit paired with a pair of sling back pumps with kitten heels, from what I could tell. Minimal, non-distracting jewelry. Personally, I’m hoping that she’ll be wearing a copy of the Helen Lawson pantsuit from the bathroom brawl scene in “Valley of the Dolls” before the debates are over. Now, THAT was a pantsuit. God bless Travilla. Oh, and she did well—earnest, passionate, you know the drill.
Martin O’Malley is the Bradley Cooper of Democratic politics. Google “Martin O’Malley Shirtless”—you’ll see. I think he did a good job in the debate. I know when Hillary moved left of Bernie on the gun issue, and Bernie came back, and then O’Malley jumped in…well, the only guns I could think of were the ones he was hiding under his coat. I know his numbers are lousy, but I hope he can hang in. I can’t face five more of these debates without a little eye candy. Geez, even the Republicans are giving us some Marco Rubio—who seems to have found his way to a tanning bed.
So, we’ve seen the first Democratic debate of the season, and it was so earnest, wasn’t it? Giving proper credit to Oscar Wilde from whom I lifted the title of this piece, I now will use the subtitle of that piece—also lifted from Mr. Wilde. Despite what you may hear from the pundits, the consultants, and the Las Vegas odds-makers, the debate was, in fact, “a trivial comedy for serious people.”