What if they gave a presidential debate and nobody came?

by Henry on September 25, 2008

According to “CNN”:http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/24/mccain-camp-to-propose-postponing-vp-debate/, McCain may be a no-show on Friday.

Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned — but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there’s no deal on the bailout.

This reminds me of the famous episode of ‘Have I Got News For You” where the Right Honourable Roy Hattersley failed to turn up for the third time. They replaced him with a tub of lard.

Now McCain, unlike the RHRH, is pretty spry for a guy in his seventies. So a tub of lard probably isn’t apropos. But nominations are now open for objects, creatures or persons that might suitably replace the presidential-candidate-in-absentia. Keep it clean please.

Update: I just saw on MSNBC that David Letterman has already put in his entry for this competition. When McCain cancelled his appearance on Letterman tonight, phoning Letterman in person to tell him that he was rushing to fix the financial crisis (he lied; in fact, he was in a different CBS studio recording an interview with Kate Couric), Letterman invited Keith Olbermann instead. Awesome – I hope that the Presidential Debates Commission follows suit.

{ 70 comments }

1

veblen 09.25.08 at 2:15 am

Hey, this is too easy. A steaming pile of bullshit is clearly the way to go.

2

David Carlton 09.25.08 at 2:24 am

I was in Alabama a week and a half ago, and while there had a conversation with an old friend who’s a musicologist at Ole Miss. He was telling me how preparations for the debate were turning the campus upside down, which I believe. Here in Nashville, Belmont University, the site of the second debate, rearranged its academic calendar to place Fall Break at the time of the debate, strongly encouraging students to leave town. These debates are huge deals for the host institutions–and McCain’s just blowing one off?? It’ll be interesting to see if this puts Mississippi in play.

3

Markup 09.25.08 at 2:29 am

Besides a nice big slab of bacon [lipstick optional] perhaps the opportunity for Sarah getting some more exposure would be in order. For an Alaskan, Miss may qualify for foreign policy experience, assuming she is allowed to talk to a mayor or city councilor.

4

HH 09.25.08 at 2:30 am

With each passing day, McCain’s character is more plainly revealed. He can try to run away from Obama, but he can’t run away from what he has become: a shameless opportunist corrupted by ambition.

5

Lisa 09.25.08 at 2:34 am

Hello? You want to be president and you can’t do two things at once?
I realize debates take prep time and such but it’s not like you can’t still work on the banking crisis as well. I mean, is he thinking he is going to solve it single handedly?

Will ANYONE fall for this?

6

Charlie 09.25.08 at 2:44 am

A yellow dog, of course.

7

OPEN REAL DEBATES 09.25.08 at 2:46 am

Time to accept a scripted Presidential “debate” yet again?
Brought to you by your “good friends” on Wall Street.

No USA Main Street Paul or Nader,
nor Cynthia McKinney…

8

Witt 09.25.08 at 3:07 am

strongly encouraging students to leave town

Wait, are you serious? Why on earth would they do that? Talk about an amazing live civics experience (yes, I know the auditorium only seats X people).

9

Donald A. Coffin 09.25.08 at 3:08 am

He lied to Letterman about why he was cancelling? (I can understand cancelling, but lying about why?) Is there nothing they won’t lie about?

10

P O'Neill 09.25.08 at 3:27 am

A copy of My Pet Goat.

11

Flavio Paniagua 09.25.08 at 3:36 am

Tina Fey

12

Davy 09.25.08 at 3:37 am

A Rorshach blot?

Although, on consideration, that might actually be a better substitute for Palin.

13

Dan Kervick 09.25.08 at 4:04 am

A sombrero, with a fake Zapata mustache beneath the brim.

14

Dan Kervick 09.25.08 at 4:10 am

A steaming pile of bullshit is clearly the way to go.

What will be most entertaining is when Obama turns to the pile of bullshit and says, “Let me be clear that, though we have our political differences, no one in my campaign doubts that my opponent is a true American hero. We honor his service.”

15

JP Stormcrow 09.25.08 at 4:16 am

Alan Keyes

16

Righteous Bubba 09.25.08 at 4:17 am

A weather vane.

17

Righteous Bubba 09.25.08 at 4:18 am

I totally would have said Alan Keyes if I was smarter and funnier.

18

Mike Hickerson 09.25.08 at 4:19 am

While a pile of bullshit is definitely it, for TV’s sake (production values you know) it needs to be a bag of bullshit. Preferably one of those red ones that sell for .99 in the clearance aisle at Target.

For creative points, propped up wearing an adult Pampers.

That’s pretty much my picture of him anyway.

19

cartesian 09.25.08 at 4:23 am

An ancient PC, running the IBM OS/2 operating system. This would have considerable advantages to McCain over an in-person appearance. It would make him appear very much younger (~1987), be relatively sprightly, good with numbers, have an infallible (if limited) memory, and most importantly, be fully capable of multitasking.

20

Clayton 09.25.08 at 4:27 am

We should immediately start demanding that the VP debate takes place this Friday. Excellent, excellent opportunity for McCain to show that Palin can be ready at a moment’s notice.

21

Rich Puchalsky 09.25.08 at 4:32 am

A beeping, flat-lined heart monitor.

It’s cool that he shamelessly lied about going to rush to fix the crisis while actually calling from another studio. Finally someone whose contempt for the American people I can relate to!

22

Walt 09.25.08 at 4:32 am

Karl Rove or Alan Greenspan would have said Alan Keyes.

23

Zarquon 09.25.08 at 4:37 am

Michael Palin.

24

Rich Puchalsky 09.25.08 at 4:38 am

I completely forgot who Alan Keyes was. I resent that I now have brain cells somewhere dedicated to remembering that.

25

Matt McIrvin 09.25.08 at 4:43 am

JP Stormcrow wins.

26

Asher 09.25.08 at 4:52 am

I thought the rumors was that McCain caught a nasty cold/flu and thought that might further the notion of his excessive aged-ness for the presidency.

27

Asher 09.25.08 at 4:53 am

*rumors were*, ugh it’s late

28

Russell Arben Fox 09.25.08 at 5:01 am

Perhaps that crazy old man who drops his pants for food from an old, old Simpsons episode? Failing that, Jonah Goldberg.

29

Matt Austern 09.25.08 at 5:33 am

No, remembering Alan Keyes is important. He’s an illustration of one of Obama’s crucial political skills: finding opponents who self destruct.

30

David 09.25.08 at 6:42 am

I suggest, as has apparently been done previously, a rubber chicken. A high quality Spanish rubber chicken at that. Not some cheap Central American chicken that McCain would be comfortable meeting with. Although, with this suspend my campaign ploy, McCain should be given credit for simultaneously evoking bullshit and chickenshit. No mean accomplishment.

31

glenn 09.25.08 at 7:27 am

a cracked and empty vessel.

32

eric 09.25.08 at 7:40 am

“This reminds me of the famous episode of ‘Have I Got News For You” where the Right Honourable Roy Hattersley failed to turn up for the third time. They replaced him with a tub of lard.”

And most of the audience didn’t even realize he hadn’t turned up.

33

Robert the Red 09.25.08 at 10:29 am

A keg of beer, of course.

34

Steve LaBonne 09.25.08 at 10:29 am

What will be most entertaining is when Obama turns to the pile of bullshit and says, “Let me be clear that, though we have our political differences, no one in my campaign doubts that my opponent is a true American hero. We honor his service.”

Damn straight! I ask you, where would politics be without bullshit? It’s the very foundation of our “democracy”!

35

G 09.25.08 at 12:06 pm

An etch-a-sketch. Every little shakeup makes it go blank, and you have to start over again with a new image.

36

jacob 09.25.08 at 12:07 pm

The year that Joe Lieberman ran for vice president and for senate, he ran against a man named Phil Giordano, who was then mayor of Waterbury. Lieberman refused to debate Giordano, and so Giordano held debates with a life-sized cardboard cutout of Lieberman. I’m fairly certain that Lieberman still won those debates.

Giordano later won fame because he was the subject of a relatively routine federal corruption investigation. The FBI tapped his phone and found not corruption, but rather that he was having sex with the 10-year-old niece and 8-year-old daughter of his favorite prostitute.

37

Alex 09.25.08 at 12:32 pm

Giordano held debates with a life-sized cardboard cutout of Lieberman.

In fairness, the Obama camp could never accept a solution so favourable to McCain. McCardboard would be far better than the candidate himself.

38

Will 09.25.08 at 12:43 pm

Amusing that the first person to say “this is too easy” also missed the injunction to “keep it clean”. Where I come from, there’s nothing clean about shit.

Surely the obvious replacement is a bag of Oven Chips, defrosting rapidly under the hot studio lights?

39

don't quote me on this 09.25.08 at 1:01 pm

A snowball, melting slowly in the kleig lights onstage.

40

Laleh 09.25.08 at 1:03 pm

Wow, how come I have never heard of a paedophilic Republican who is a former military guy too (Giordano)?

41

Righteous Bubba 09.25.08 at 1:04 pm

A cake left out in the rain.

42

Harry 09.25.08 at 2:09 pm

According to my wife’s school library display, Alan Keyes is running! Sorry, Rich.

43

Michael Drake 09.25.08 at 2:10 pm

In the case of McCain, a tub of lard would be substitution salva veritate.

44

JP Stormcrow 09.25.08 at 4:18 pm

Alan Keyes is running!

Indeed he is. American Independent Party, represent! Platform includes repeal of the 16th & 17th amendments. Profit!

45

mollymooly 09.25.08 at 5:37 pm

HRC

46

Katherine 09.25.08 at 5:56 pm

Not to derail the thread, but when you say “The FBI tapped his phone and found not corruption, but rather that he was having sex with the 10-year-old niece and 8-year-old daughter of his favorite prostitute.” , I’m pretty sure you mean “abusing” or “raping” rather than “having sex with”, yes?

47

KAS 09.25.08 at 6:05 pm

[aeiou]A brought back to life, miniture (maybe you could modify the ‘size’ part of the genes) T-Rex of course!!

You can’t tell me no one else has noticed his t-rex arms!? Torture, smorture, i’ll acnowledge it looks funny~ mostly cuz I hate the guy.

Or… a (female of course) pig with bright red lipstick!

KAS

48

Harry 09.25.08 at 6:40 pm

I do hope some of the non-north-atlantic-islanders have watched the clip. Merton is brilliant.

49

dr. doctrine 09.25.08 at 6:51 pm

The San Francisco Mime Troupe

50

john i 09.25.08 at 7:03 pm

A pile of thirteen cars.

51

Scott 09.25.08 at 7:48 pm

Truckasaurus.

52

jstockdale 09.25.08 at 9:04 pm

a rocking chair

53

Mike 09.26.08 at 12:56 am

How long is a debate? Two hours? Here’s an awesome idea: GET TWO HOURS LESS SLEEP. That’s a pretty straight-foward time managment issue.

54

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 2:09 am

You know, I really wonder about the mentality of guys like KAS. Seriously disagree with his politics if you must, but make fun of a veteran who sacrificed for his country and was physically crippled through torture? And KAS “hates” him? The one who is seriously crippled as a person is someone like KAS.

55

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 2:13 am

PS: I thought this was an academic site for rational–even though sometimes heated–discussion by adults.

56

Righteous Bubba 09.26.08 at 2:38 am

make fun of a veteran who sacrificed for his country and was physically crippled through torture?

John McCain was not tortured.

57

Nabakov 09.26.08 at 4:13 am

A Dalek.

Same origin story, same vocabulary.

58

Rich Puchalsky 09.26.08 at 4:36 am

I would like to sincerely thank John McCain. His inept politicization and attention-grabbing debate cancellation so that he could parachute into Washington appear to have sabotaged the bailout deal. He has done what Senators like Dodd — who, regrettably, are still too focussed on the idea that they have to be responsible, and fix things — could not do.

59

bi -- IJI 09.26.08 at 8:43 am

virgil xenophon gives me an idea:

In McCain’s place, put a big honking record player that repeatedly blares, “I am a POW! I am a POW! I am a POW!” It may also be a good idea to make sure it’s louder than Obama’s voice. End of debate.

 – bi, International Journal of Inactivism

60

Mark Dowling 09.26.08 at 12:32 pm

The obvious substitute is a bowl of pho.

61

KAS 09.26.08 at 2:09 pm

virgil xenophon,

So sorry if I offended you with my sarcasm! I forgot that being a POW was totally off limits! I am a Veteran who knows multiple individuals that were injured or deformed, two that died and I knew a handful of SF guys who were short term POW’s. I was being Cynically humorous about his ridiculous over use of his service and torture that he is using a political stunt combined with the obvious age and ‘out of touch’ persona that a dinosaur implies. Hence the T-Rex ;)

He is the one tarnishing his service by using it to gain votes, now I.

p.s. I am not a Man, I am an adult & I do partake in serious discussion when the post is serious.

KAS

62

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 6:43 pm

Reply to KAS:

As a USAF Vietnam-era fossil only slightly younger than McCain who was fortunate enough not to be shot down and captured I guess I am a tad sensitive on the subject–332 combat missions will do that. My replacement/roommate was shot down and KIA on his first mission–his unpacked bags still sitting on my/his freshly made bed when I got the news as I awaited transportation to the flight-line to board the commercial bird taking me and everyone else whose tour was up that day home–all blind luck, really, me alive, him dead;his first day, my last one. Sooo——

Now, about your main point. I could be wrong about this, but if memory serves he was at first reticent to push the POW thing, but has been more or less drawn out about it–unlike John Kerry who milked his 3 month tour of dubious accomplishments for all they were worth right from jump street. And as I am of an age to well remember JFK
handing out those tacky PT-109 (a 60kt MTB JFK allowed to be cut in half by a 30kt Destroyer) cuff-links and tie-tacks to White House visitors to the great glee and approval of the press–so I am unimpressed by charges of “stunts” laid against conservative candidates. Gee, I wonder if McCain is elected will Hollywood make a suck-up movie about his war exploits and let him personally pick the actor who will portray him as was done with JFK? To even ask the question is to answer it…….

63

lemuel pitkin 09.26.08 at 6:52 pm

332 combat missions will do that.

How many people do you reckon you killed?

64

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 6:54 pm

PS to KAS: Oh, but we’ve already seen the suck-up movie Hollywood made about the exploits of George W. Bush, 41st POTUS and the (volunteer) youngest Navy pilot in WWII, who was shot down and perilously rescued by a Navy sub. Great movie wasn’t it?

65

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 6:59 pm

lemuel pitkin:

Ans: Obviously not enough.

66

bi -- IJI 09.26.08 at 7:05 pm

I could be wrong about this, but if memory serves he was at first reticent to push the POW thing, but has been more or less drawn out about it

If that’s true, and that’s a very big “if”, I can perfectly understand. McCain was totally against it, before he was totally for it!

All of McCain and Palin’s flip-flops are, of course, the fault of those darn librulz. POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! …

 – bi, International Journal of Inactivism

67

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 7:36 pm

You, know, to all who read this exchange here, I feel compelled to state that though I am an unrepentant “man of the right,” McCain has never been my cup of tea for many reasons–his inconsistencies, is obvious lack of understanding of economics, his views on immigration and taxes(what ARE they exactly , anyway) and a slew of other things–but as a fellow fossil I strongly abhor attacks on his physical appearance and the “out-of-touch” thing. If anyone can multi-task, it’s fighter pilots–ex or otherwise. I am rather amused that the sine qua non of the competent executive is whether he has the skills of a clerk typist–they used to have entire “pools” of people to do that kind of scut work.

68

virgil xenophon 09.26.08 at 7:42 pm

Appros po of my comment about typing pools, I believe it was P.J. O’Rourk who pointed out the savagely ironic fact that the current trend among “the rich” is to spend $90,000 on state of the art kitchens–places where only the servants used to tread.

69

Righteous Bubba 09.26.08 at 7:55 pm

as a fellow fossil I strongly abhor attacks on his physical appearance and the “out-of-touch” thing.

“Out of touch” is somewhat important when voting for a president.

I believe it was P.J. O’Rourke

Another man who would never make such attacks.

70

Vietnamese-American 09.27.08 at 7:32 am

Virgil Xenophon:

Obviously not enough.

Wow, you’re a real piece of shit. I’m shocked.

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