Debate Night In Hell’s Kitchen

October 3rd, 2008

Debate Night In Hell’s KitchenOnce again, it was debate night in Hell’s Kitchen.

And once again, Chris and Meg Abad hosted a viewing party of epic proportions.

We drank beers, ate nachos, and yelled at the TV screen. We gaffawed at CNN’s silly graphics, played Palin Bingo, and chugged on a number of key phrases (“maverick,” “reform,” “change,” etc.).

And we worried about the future of the country. (I said to Chris at one point, “Yunno, I didn’t think anyone could top Bush’s folksy, down-home, faux-authenticity schtick. Tonight, I stand corrected.”)

Here’s my blow-by-blow as tapped into my Blackberry:

8:01 – Joe, buddy, too much makeup!

8:05 – Did she just wink into the camera?

8:09 – At least they’re making eye contact with each other.

8:10 – “Joe Six Pack?” Really?

8:14 – Darn, heckuva, gosh… Palin’s colloquialisms are getting old fast (though I imagine it’s playing well in my home state of Iowa).

8:16 – Biden’s got a comb-over AND a mullet. Two-for-one!

8:20 – I don’t like her glasses. I think if the K-Mart Optical Center every time. “There’s a blue-light special on Luxotica’s brand-new, high-fashion,light-weight Soho Line in the K-Mart Optical Center…” Except no one in Soho would wear those glasses. Only Alaska. Or Idaho, maybe Idaho. Not that there’s anything wrong with those states, just their taste in glasses.

8:24 – I find the candidate’s direct addressing of the camera extremely creepy.

8:25 – I think McCain’s proposal that we all buy into free-market health insurance is problematic (see also: my thirty thousand dollar hospital bill).

8:26 – I’m beginning to think Mrs. Palin might be the spawn of Satan himself. Cuz if you were gonna bring evil into the world, wouldn’t you do it in the person of a skinny, white, bespectacled librarian who talks about soccer and “regular families” while drilling for oil in national parks, peddling perks to lobbyists,and generally dragging down the discourse of American politics?

8:30 – I’m watching this debate with a dozen friends many of whom are cracking wise (which is fine, and fun). I’m straight-faced, though, ‘cuz I’m afraid people outside of our (extremely awesome and cool) cadre of hipster, Northeast media elites might be buyin’ what she’s sellin’.

8:31 – Biden looks really, really tired. And really, really orange.

8:36: – She just said “O’Biden!” Love it. “I’m a heckuva fan of the O’Biden ticket! Pour meanother pint of Guinness, will ya’ Jimmy?”

8:45 – “The Surge.” Good name for a rock band. As is “Talibany.” Wait, Talibany!?!

8:46 – I think it’s honorable that both of them have sons in the military. (I think it’s a shame that anyone’s sons and daughters have to be in the military at all.)

8:49 – Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad … five times in one minute!!!

8:56 – Maverick! Yeah!!!

8:59 – THREE shout outs for Kim Jong Il. You KNOW he’s sittin’ there in his palace watchin’ CNN with a big, self-satisfied grin.

9:00 – “I’d like to use my lifeline, please?”

9:06 – Associating John McCain with Dick Cheney? Kinda genius (though Sarah begs to disagree).

9:07 – “John McCain knows what evil is.” ‘Cuz he’s worked with ’em for years.

9:11 – “Say it ain’t so Joe!?!” Jeez, c’mon! How condescending.

9:12 – Another wink! And a shout out!!!

9:18 – Cheney sucks.

9:20 – I have a new theory. Sarah Palin elicits the hot-for-teacher, “Hit Me Baby (One More Time),” “Secretary” thing. ‘Cuz, sorry, it ain’t her brains.

9:23 – Biden just choked up. Wow.

9:27 – “At the end of the day, it’s gonna’ be ok.”

9:29 – Palin Closing Statement: “Fight for the middle class.” Check. “Ronald Reagan.” Check. “Back in the day.” Check. Wait, back in the day!?!

9:30 – Biden Closing Statement: Dug into a very deep hole, indeed. “Champ, when you get knocked down, stand up.” I”m ok with that.

9:33 – Oh jeez, she’s holding that baby again. And it’s sleeping, again. Why is it always sleeping? What does she put in its formula?

In the end, I think we all acknowledged that Mrs. Palin performed well. That is, she didn’t seem to say anything, or have much idea what she was saying, but she didn’t train wreck. There’s no denying that she’s charismatic, and oddly likable (much like a SuperSized Big Mac Meal: looks good, tastes good, bad for you).

Biden, while long-winded and a little detailed for general comprehension, seemed smart, experienced, and ready for the gig.

And so we called it a night, streamed out onto 55th Street, and scattered to our little corners of New York City, one step closer to performing our civic duty.

12 Responses to “Debate Night In Hell’s Kitchen”

  1. Elizabeth ( Blisland, UK )  Says:

    Spawn of Satan…I am so with you there! I stayed up until 2:00 AM here to watch the debate and I did my fair share of shouting and swearing too at the TV.

    The wrap-up afterwards here in the UK by the media was bad. They acted as if it was a draw …a draw in a debate with a woman who looks as if she was coached by a bunch of sales people. Having been in sales I know what I’m talking about. She only had a surface level awareness of what she was saying. Surely people can see that?

    And the “Talibany ” comment was just one that no one here seemed to pick up on. She was one big “ole” sound bite of too many actions “wink, wink” that as a woman embarrass the hell out of me! How can anyone take her seriously. She’s a plastic caribou Barbie mouthing pat answers designed to appeal to people who don’t know enough about what’s happening in the world or why.

    I’ll be interested to hear what the US media have to say. It’s 4:03 here and I’m afraid of what I’m going to hear later.

  2. Tricia  Says:

    It might have played well in some parts of Iowa-but we’ve perfected folksy and gosh darnit all to heck-we can spot a fraud a mile away. You betcha ;)

    P.S. Early voting has started in iowa. Go to to find your polling location and to register to vote! I voted early this morning in warren was super easy and fast!

  3. Abad  Says:

    8:16 – Biden’s got a comb-over AND a mullet. Two-for-one!


  4. Jonathan  Says:

    Your observation of 8:26 is interesting. I just realized the resemblance between Ms. Palin, and Becky, the Devil’s Advocate.

  5. erin  Says:

    9:33 – Oh jeex, she’s holding that baby again. And it’s sleeping, again. Why is it always sleeping? What does she put in its formula?

    SO funny! I almost choked on my lunch when I got to that line.

    I can’t wait to see what Tina Fey does with last night’s debate performance on SNL this weekend. All of the folksy stuff is just begging to be mocked. I’d love to see a sketch with Palin & Bush where the entire conversation is folksy fluff and absolutely no substance – I doubt the SNL writers would have to dig too deep for inspiration on that one.

  6. brandi  Says:

    What was with the winks?!! I mean did she have something in her eye, or was playing up that whole “hot librarian” thing? Either way that woman is pure evil.
    I love your play, by play. Especially 9:00. Hilarious.

  7. Alex in NYC  Says:

    As a devout worhipper of Satan, I resent the implication that the horned one is related to that shrill schweinhund.

  8. Mary  Says:

    Mullet and comb-over….how about botox? I mean…anyone his age…has to have wrinkles in the forehead area…between the eyes…and…well…he didn’t….??

  9. Gloria  Says:

    Funny how the women are down on her when she’s no worse than that moron in office now and Dan Quayle. Funny how Hilary Clinton gets the same label — satan spawn — but she’s brilliant and accomplished deserves as much as Biden to be VP and even president.

    All the stories about her style, her headbands, her hair yet you never read such stories about Bush’s nose hair or tie choice. Palin is scary but no scarier than Cheney, Quayle, Bush and various other male GOP politicians.

  10. Benjamin  Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Gloria! :) I can’t speak for women, or pundits, but would respond that a) glasses notwithstanding, I have no beef with her style b) my quips aren’t gender based; I’d say the same of a man, puppy or alligator spouting the same nonsense and c) while I’m no fan of Bush, Cheney, or Quayle, what seemed to distinguish them (at least the first two) is experience and intelligence. I think she’s dynamic, compelling and engaging; I just don’t agree with her values, and don’t think she has any idea what she’s talking about.

    Should be an interesting month!

  11. Dria  Says:

    I absolutely beg to differ that Palin’s colloquialisms play well in Iowa. I know you didn’t mean it as a dig, but (we) Iowans tend to appreciate those who are genuine and educated, not those who pander with “aw, shucks” lines and generalizations. Give us some credit!
    I, too, loved your line about her holding the baby….

  12. Benjamin  Says:

    Of curse, Dria. And no offense intended, much credit given. When I say Iowa, I mean some of my more conservative relatives there. And genuine is key; I’m not on Authentic Records for nothin’! :)

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