Indiana Daily Student

Fun facts from the debate

It could only have been more perfect if Al Gore had worn a shirt that said, "I'm with Stupid." \nInstead, Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-disdainful were dressed in identical outfits, dark blue suits with white shirts and red ties. (Gore's tie was more of a maroon, in case anyone was having trouble telling the two apart).\nIt seemed the point of the first debate of election season was to convince America that George W. Bush is a Republican and Gore is a Democrat. This was accomplished by repeated sound-offs of party themes. For example, Gore reminded us (10 times!) that the Republican tax plan would enable rich people to buy more stuff, while making it necessary for poor people to sell their organs to purchase prescription drugs. While not disputing these claims, Bush insisted Gore wanted to introduce big government programs that would make Scandinavian socialism look namby-pamby.\nFortunately for the careful listener, subtextual highlights did exist that made the evening at least bearable.\nFuzzy Math! \nEvery time Gore mentioned a number, no matter the reason, Bush would respond by telling intrepid moderator Jim Lehrer, "It's fuzzy math!" In the home audience, we were left wondering if perhaps all math is fuzzy for the governor. In coverage of Bush's travels after the debates, it was reported that at rallies across the country, Bush was met by riled (and perhaps rehearsed) crowds chanting, "Fu-zy Math! Fu-zy Math!" \nFor clarification, I contacted a fake, non-existent mathematician to find out just what this means. He said, "Well, people don't like math. In fact, they hate it. Governor Bush is trying to capitalize on this and gain the vote of the math-hating constituency."\nThis strategy could be a problem for Bush's education platform\nThe Sigh, the Glance, the Man\nUnaware that his microphone was on and a split screen showed his reactions during Bush's comments, Gore let loose a veritable tirade of exasperated sighs, glares and disgusted grimaces. Many commentators believe this played into Gore's reputation as a pedantic wonk. \nAnd it didn't make his make-up job look any better. Ugly is as ugly does, after all.\nFun Facts From the Governor\nAs he did in the primary debates, Bush enthralled and entertained us all with a series of astounding fun facts:\n

  • Texas is a big state\n
  • George W. Bush is the governor of that big state\n
  • A governor is a chief executive officer\n
  • A governor's biggest job is to stand with victims of natural disaster, feel his heart break and shed a few tears\n
  • At-risk kids can't learn\n
  • But best of all, Governor Bush revealed it's "not the role of a president to decide right and wrong."
\nWhat?!\nThis from a Republican? This is the man who represents the party that thinks Americans have lost sight of their moral compass, and that only a Republican can redirect us to the righteous path.\nHe was talking about targeted tax plans, telling Gore it was judgmental to decide who deserved a tax cut (obviously, it's the rich people), and he let that one slip! If only this voice of reason had sounded during the impeachment drama, we really could have saved some time.\nAl Gore is watching you\nAnd finally, Gore wowed us with his impressive personal knowledge of other people's problems. There's his good friend the senior citizen who picks up cans along the road to pay for her prescription medication. He also likes to hang out with a couple who won't qualify for coverage under Bush's prescription drug plan. \nWhat a bizarre coincidence that all of Gore's new friends are deeply affected by the top issues in the 2000 presidential campaign! He sure is lucky he knows them well enough to earnestly tell their stories to millions of debate watchers, as the man who would be wood desperately tries to make a personal connection with someone, anyone … anyone who's going to vote, that is.\nBefore you know it, he'll be telling your story! Never met the man, you say? This is the era of Big Brother (the lovable CBS version, not the creepy George Orwell one). Al Gore is watching you.

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