I think it is completely defined by the deeply insightful and profound analysis proffered by newly anointed political commentator Paris Hilton. (Extreme content caution if you choose to watch the video. Think Carl's Jr. commercials.) Her astute description of McCain as "white-haired dude" is probably the best her generation has to offer right now. Althouse thinks it was a pro-McCain message. Certainly he chose to play it up that way. "Sounds like she agrees with our 'all of the above' approach," was his rejoinder.
McCain has given conservatives a new definition of pain. If we can survive his approach to border security, we can handle just about anything. See-dubya (blogging for Michelle Malkin) follows the story of the most recent incursion into US territory by the Mexican army. He strongly suggests building some sort of "barrier thingie" as quickly as possible, which is something that McCain can only claim lip-service to supporting.
Obama, meanwhile, gives us pause. How many seasoned politicians do you know will tell a seven-year old that the nation is a mess? As a parent of (former) seven-year olds, I can tell you that this would not have been my approach to the question, politics be damned. My seven-year olds were impressionable enough to have gotten many nights' worth of nightmares had I answered the question the way Obama did. But an Obama without a teleprompter is like a fortune cookie without the paper inside; all air, no substance.
But none of the above is the reason for my headline. No, this election just got weirder with the introduction of (I can't believe I'm typing this) Obama and McCain paper dolls. Yes, it's true. Dover Publications has them available for $7.99 each. They are the work of Tom Tierney, whom Mrs. Woody informs me is quite a well-known figure in the paper doll business.
The likenesses of both Obama and McCain are those of the insipid male models who used to grace Sears catalogs throughout the 80's and spilled over into most other retail outlets. I'm guessing they both come with multiple empty suits. You expect to see the both of them on a page touting "evening wear" for the "deal-making man."
(Not that Woody can brag here... I was once photographed in similar outfits in our local fish-wrapper in the early 90's. That's because I was a featured soloist for our local Chorale's holiday concert and we had agreed to do a fashion shoot for the Life section of the paper. Let me be frank: Woody is no fashion model. And I was nowhere near as, um, portly as I am today.)
Anyway, the thought of my girls even wanting to own paper doll versions of either (or both!) candidates just sends me to my knees, choking with laughter:
"Okay, Mr. Obama, you get to be the fairy princess who controls the whole kingdom of Obamatopia! Pretend you're waiting for your chamberlain to bring you your speech before you go talk to the peasants!"Hey, my kids always use exclamation points when they play. Don't yours?
"And, Mr. McCain, you can be the evil Dark Knight who wants to invade Obamatopia and has an old horse that can't run very fast, and your battle-axe is rusty so you hafta trade it for a wand made out of flowers and you try to find Obamatopia but it's enchanted and that's why you're lost!"
Anyway, if you have $8 to kill, go ahead and buy a paper doll. Here's an even better idea: buy the set of two. Then you can stage your own mock debates on YouTube using the paper dolls. (Some restrictions may apply.)
They're bound to be better than the real ones later this fall.