Debate Advice from Jack and Bob: Look, Don’t Listen!

I know the debate could not possibly be as eventful as the one in Spin Doctor.  However, I asked a couple of characters to give us a report on it:

Jack pushed his way through the tourists at the Old Ebbitt toward the bar in the back, where he was surprised to see Bob, already at the bar. “I thought M.C. asked you to go to Colorado for the debate. What are you doing here?”

Bob shifted on the barstool. “I’m supposed to watch the debate, right? So I can do that here.”

“No, you are supposed to be there. In person.” Jack slid onto the stool next to him, waived at the bartender and pointed to the Heineken tap.

Bob shook his head. “First of all, the people in the room will have no idea what is going on. They will talk to each other, squint at the stage, strain to hear over the applause that isn’t supposed to happen.” He took a sip of an amber drink in a short glass. “If you want to know what happens, you have to watch TV.”

The bartender placed a napkin in front of Jack and set the beer on it. When he went back to the other end of the bar, Jack went on: “Well you aren’t going to try to watch it here, are you?  I mean it isn’t noisy, but you won’t be able to hear a word they say.”

“Exactly. If I watched it at home, I would be tempted to listen. But that’s a mistake.”

“No. Seriousy. You can come over to Evan’s condo. We are going to get some beer and watch it there.”

“No. Thanks anyway.” Bob waved his empty glass  at the bartender, who nodded  back. “Besides, you two will probably make a drinking game out of the word “deficit” or “fiscal cliff.” You really can tell what’s going on better with the sound off. It’s visual. It doesn’t matter what they say. It’s how they react.”

“Really.”

“Stop saying that. I’m not kidding. Remember the Lloyd Bentsen-Dan Quayle moment? It wasn’t what he said as much as Quayle’s reaction. And Bush the Elder, when he looked at his watch. Visual. Didn’t say a word.”

“That was ages ago. Don’t you think voters are more sophisticated now? “

“Maybe. But it’s still about what your eyes take in. If you hear the words, it’s hard to concentrate on the visuals.”

“I’m starting to believe you are serious. What about the last election?”

“Easy.  The debate was a draw. Amiable old guy versus smooth young guy.  Bush the younger won both of his, but not on words. Gore and Kerry struck some voters as condescending. Like they were talking to a group of naughty five year olds.  And remember Gore’s sighs? And those Reagan moments they keep playing in a loop? You can tell without the sound that he nailed those lines.”

“I still think M.C. wanted you to go to Colorado.”

“Look, nothing like what happens in Spin Doctor is going to happen in this debate. I’m not going to another time zone. Also, the air is thin. And it’s not like I’m going to find anything out in those spin rooms. I can tell you what they’re going to say before the debate starts.”

“Plus, there is no bar in the auditorium.”

“I very much doubt it.”

1 Comment

October 3, 2012 · 12:57 pm

One response to “Debate Advice from Jack and Bob: Look, Don’t Listen!

  1. Pingback: Predictions on the VP Debate: Bob and Jack are Back | NovelPolitics

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