Wednesday, November 01, 2006

what have we learned: some people can't tell a joke

This week we've learned that no one who ran for President of the United States in 2004 can tell a joke.

First Mr Bush botched a despicable lie in the form of a joke. Though the joke lies in shards on the campaign stump, the lie remains.

Then Mr Kerry of Massachusetts butchered an ad hominem quip at the President's expense which allowed a momentary loss of focus on two very important issues:

1. This President is stuck in Iraq and us with him and almost everyone who was looking saw it coming (though more than a few of us weren't looking, so...)

2. People with a demonstrated inability to tell jokes should refrain from doing attempting to do so. I'd be willing to bet people close to the President and Senator could have told them this decades ago. Individuals who persist in trying to be funny long after it's clear they are not may be stubborn and intemperate in other ways as well; this is just a theory.

Mr Clinton could (and can) tell a joke. Mr Gore appears to have recaptured a latent capacity to make funny. Mr Lieberman, in my opinion, can tell a joke the way most sound engineers can play musical instruments - they understand the physics but no one downloads their singles.

Senator McCain tells an OK joke from time to time. Not a headliner but a pleasant opening act. Senator Obama can definitely tell a joke. He may prove to be as good on his feet as the best of them.

Meanwhile, I call on Mr Bush and Mr Kerry to cease and desist. Mr Bush's funniest moments have had nothing to do with joke-telling bless his heart. And Mr Kerry is much clearer (though certainly no funnier) when he remains serious, as when in 1971 he asked Congress, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

1 comment:

jim hancock said...

Dave thinks Bob Dole became adept at quips, if not jokes, once he was out of office. I guess that's fair enough. I wonder if that would work for some others currently in office . . .