Pin It
Favorite

Trail Mix 

The problem with this election is that the candidates aren't funny.

click to enlarge art17381.jpg

More Jokes, Please

I haven’t been able to put my finger on why this election season seems more like drudgery than fun. Then I read John Dickerson’s latest from the campaign trail on Slate.com, and it made sense — these candidates aren’t funny.

“This is a once-in-a-generation political humor crisis,” Dickerson wrote Sunday. “Every campaign since 1968 has had at least one candidate who could make audiences smile. In 2008, Gov. Mike Huckabee and [John] McCain could have qualified for Last Comic Standing.”

Kennedy, Reagan — even Lincoln — led with their wit when necessary. A nice zinger can be endearing, prove a nimble mind and make for a great soundbite. So tune your ear for humor — it could be a difference-maker in 2012.

Pundit Watch

Another thing that’s not funny is the state of our punditry. Whether you’re watching FOX, MSNBC or even CNN, every pundit has some kind of partisan axe to grind. Are there any, you know, normal people offering opinions?

Here’s one: Gregg Easterbrook, a smart guy with many interests — sports, space, globalization. In politics, he even has nice things to say about both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Which is why he’ll never make it on TV.

He does have a great sports column on ESPN.com, “Tuesday Morning Quarterback,” that sprinkles in some politics, including this from Tuesday, about Congress raiding the Social Security Trust Fund: “Does even one current member of Congress care? By giving away the store, they bask in perks and campaign contributions, and will have departed before the crash hits.”

Easterbrook also writes a politics column for Reuters (blogs.reuters.com/gregg-easterbrook), so bookmark him if you’re sick of hearing the blather that passes for punditry these days.

Olympian Battle Brewing

It’s easy to forget with all the commotion, but Washington will be electing a governor next fall. The battle is underway, as nobody expects more big-name candidates to jump in besides Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.

As former state Democratic Party Chair Paul Berendt told the Seattle Times, “The politics of the time has just made [the governorship] really undesirable. There is an ambition deficit going on.”

Still Republicans are keen to take the Governor’s Mansion for the first time in 27 years — and the most recent poll has McKenna ahead, 44 to 38 percent.

There’s a public attention deficit on this race, too. But Trail Mix is on it; we’ll cover local and state races, along with the national stuff, so stay tuned.

  • Pin It

Speaking of Election 2012, trail Mix

  • Bryant: 'No' to Trump
  • Bryant: 'No' to Trump

    Trail Mix: A local non-endorsement and Trump's Putin problem
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • Tea Leaves
  • Tea Leaves

    Trail Mix: Bold election predictions, and Washington's quiet primary
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • True Colors
  • True Colors

    Trail Mix: Trump's GOP defectors, Washington's gun initiative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • Good News, Bad News
  • Good News, Bad News

    Labor is winning concessions... just as robots are arriving in the workforce
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • Mad as Hell
  • Mad as Hell

    The economy's ups and downs have created profound dislocations, but yelling won't fix anything
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • Bryant: 'No' to Trump
  • Bryant: 'No' to Trump

    Trail Mix: A local non-endorsement and Trump's Putin problem
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • Staying Engaged
  • Staying Engaged

    From the Mayfair Cafe to Central Park
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • Institutional Amnesia
  • Institutional Amnesia

    Threading the needle between reform and revolution
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Classic rock, a modern Altman classic and the big man throws it down (on paper)
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Mothers and Leaders
  • Mothers and Leaders

    History often overlooks the women who powered the politics of the civil rights movement
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • People vs. Machines
  • People vs. Machines

    It's time to end the war on people
    • Jan 14, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation