Howdy

I’ve learned two important lessons recently. One involves slamming a car door while nude, and the other is that often how you do depends on what is expected of you. For example, if Celine Dion put out an album of rabid wolverines being tortured with sewing pins, based on what I’ve come to expect from Celine, I’d have to say “Not bad. Not bad at all.” It’s all about exceeding expectations.

This was recently brought home to me following the second presidential debate. After the first debate, the expectations for President W were low. In essence, it was expected that he come out on the stage, drop his pants and take a nap. However, as I listened to the commentary on CNN, I was struck by just how little the pundits demanded of W. Below is a transcript of the post-debate commentary.

Wolfe
Well, that was certainly a lively debate, lets go around
the horn to gage reaction. First you Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff
This was clearly a big night for President Bush. I was
struck right away by how he came out on the stage and
forcefully walked to the correct podium

Wolfe
…well not at first.

Jeff No, but eventually. And then he stood behind his podium
like he belonged there the rest of the night.

Wolfe
Judy Woodruff, your reaction-

Judy
I thought he gave a very powerful and eloquent defense
of the war with Morocco. And even though we aren’t actually
at war with Morocco, I think it’s clear he scored some major
points.

Jeff
I agree with Judy, and I don’t think the fact that the President
pronounced “Morocco” with all silent Os detracted from his point.

Wolfe
Bill Schneider, our political analyst, what say you?

Bill
Boy am I getting fat, Wolfe.

Wolfe
No, I mean about the debate.

Bill
The President was clearly trying to send signals to his base,
which, like the President, believes it’s not “IF” you scratch, but “WHERE” you scratch that matters. He was brilliant at that.

Aaron
Wolfe, Aaron Brown here. I was impressed that
the President did not set himself on fire!

Judy
Aaron’s right. People don’t realize how hard that is.

Wolfe
Did anyone detect any of the verbal gaffs that have plagued
some of W’s earlier performances? I ask you Bob Woodward.

Bob
Well nobody’s perfect. Certainly, referring to Internets plural
was a slight error, and perhaps it would have been best if
the President hadn’t referred to the Duke of Windsor as “The
Douche of Windsor,” but anyone could make that mistake.

Wolfe
And what about the President’s repeated references to “former
President Boujangles.”

Bob
Again Wolfe, we can all pick a nit on anyone. And who knows,
maybe someday there will be a President Boujangles. Perhaps
President Bush is ahead of his time.

Wolfe
Judy, do you think that the President overdid it by saying the phrase
“evil-doers” 114 times?

Judy
Wolfe, he was simply showing message discipline.

Wolfe
Even when he used the term “evil-doer” to refer to moderator
Charlie Gibson?

Bill
Wolfe, can I jump in here? I just want to pick up on the point
Judy made. This was a man on message. Not once did he
bark, throw a spit-ball, or pretend to be humping something. This
is a man who can lead!

Wolfe
Some of his critics might point out that he often had trouble filling
the entire 2 minutes he was allotted.

Jeff
Brevity is the soul of wit Wolfe. For example, when asked his plans
for further expanding NATO, I think the President’s answer, “Huh?,” said it all.

Bob
Exactly, because he said it like he meant it, not like a flip-flopper.
Contrast that with Senator Kerry prattling on about this “treaty” and
that “historical context,” blah blah blah.

Wolfe
Was anyone confused by the President referring to France as
an ocean?

Bob
I’m sure that was deliberate Wolfe. It must have been symbolic.
Bush is crazy, but crazy like a fox.

Wolfe
His critics will say he’s stupid.

Judy
He’s stupid Wolfe, stupid like a fox.

Bill
Or, as they say in Texas, “he’s ignorant and
inarticulate. But he’s ignorant and inarticulate
like a fox!”

Wolfe
So what do both candidates have to do in the next
debate?

Aaron
Well Kerry has to be much more concise. He has to stop
explaining the nuances of his position and start giving answers
like “yup,” “nope” and “hell nope” more.

Judy
Kerry also needs to make his differences with the President
more clear, but he should do that without disagreeing with the
President. After all, he is the President.

Bob
And we are at war.

Bill
The bottom line is that Kerry uses way too many verbs.

Wolfe
What must the President do in the next debate?

Judy
Well I think it’s critical that he mention Texas.

Aaron
Bottom line, if Bush can avoid chewing on his own neck,
then you’d have to say he comes out on top.

Bill
Does this suit make me look fat Wolfe?

The lesson in all of this is that I need to start lowering expectations for myself. That shouldn’t be too hard.

Love,
Dutch Larooo

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