I mentioned the same thing today to a friend of mine up in Montana. This guy, who makes his living raising cattle and hay, doesn’t like Obama and has no particular fondness for Romney. But he does think this election should be primarily about jobs, so he plans to tune in to see if either man can manage to be specific in that regard. I told him not to hold his breath.
But that’s kind of cynical, isn’t it? I got to thinking about it. This friend, maybe the least political Republican I know, is interested enough to give both candidates a chance to influence his opinion. I don’t know if I’d call him undecided, but he’s the rare voter who might still be swayed by a specific, cogent program — in his case, one that would put unemployed people back to work. I admire people who are able to keep an open mind. Maybe I should too.
Then again: Nah. I think he’ll be disappointed tomorrow night. Specifics are the death of presidential campaigns and extremely risky in televised debates. The art of campaigning is the art of obfuscation. What pleases one voter will piss off another, so it’s best to speak in meaningless generalities about American greatness, and to do it with such conviction that only later will people realize you haven’t said anything at all.
Again with the cynicism. Sorry. I will watch the debates after all, just so we’ll all have something to talk about. But for me it’ll be like watching NASCAR — I’m only there for the wrecks.