It's all a matter of perspective.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Matt Labash is in New Hampshire this week.
Up at the campus's Dominic Hill, John Kerry prepares to march down to the debate with a firefighter's union and their bagpiping corps, who are playing something that sounds like Dean funeral music. For a moment, Kerry's bus, the "Real Deal Express," almost grinds its candidate into the pavement as it hurtles down the hill. A line of Deaniacs obstruct the way, causing Kerry and company to knock into the back of their bagpipers, who are getting their kilts flipped up and worse. The Deaniacs then burst through the line, and the Kerry supporters start pushing back. The whole thing plays like a battle scene from "Braveheart," or it would've if "Braveheart" had featured a man dressed like a giant penis getting hip-checked into a snow-bank.

The debate itself, as has now been well-documented, is boring beyond description. In the light of Dean's meltdown, all the frontrunners seem intent on being their campaign-brochure selves, only less so. After sustaining a sore throat and a week of nightmare press, Howard Dean appears to be sucking back his own words even as he says them, causing Joshua Green of the Atlantic Monthly, sitting next to me in the press room, to comment, "It sounds like a guy trying to hold in a bong hit."

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