Just in case you thought Barrack Obama could only hit home run speeches when running for president, just read his commencement address to the graduating class of Notre Dame. I enjoy that people, myself included, still tend to underestimate him or question his wisdom in doing some of the things he does. Give a speech on race relations in the middle of a vicious primary battle. Are you nuts? Accept the nominations for the Democratic party in an open stadium with roman arches in the background? Madness. And yet he's rarely, if ever, had a speech flop, especially if it was a big one where lots of people were paying attention.
So I suspect he knew full well what would happen when he went to Notre Dame. He knew what kind of racket he would kick up and took that opportunity to give a speech not just on the value of public service and working together, but also a eloquent discussion on the values of being pro-choice while working hard towards eliminating the need for abortion whatsoever.
It also helps when you make the argument about the need for intelligent public discourse while sounding very thoughtful and articulate while most of your opponents look like raving lunatics on cable.
I'm sure he's going to screw up massively at some point...all presidents do. But I wonder how deep the Republican party will be buried at that point.
Also interesting to note is Jesee "The Body" Ventura making the rounds. I fully expect to see him on The Daily Show or Colbert at some point this week. Ventura has jumped into the ongoing debate about torture in the United States and has made some good points. Plus, it's not like Ventura's ever been lacking in a good sound bite. I mean, come on:
["Water-boarding] is torture... It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."
Ventura, who is an ex-Navy SEAL, was actually waterboarded as part of his training. So he has some idea about what he's talking about. But there have been others on TV talking about what it's like to experience this who have been ex-military. But Ventura knows a soundbite. That one is too good. If you're a journalist and Ventura gives you that, inside your head you're doing the Dance of Joy because that quote is Gold.
And if you want another try this from, of all places, The View, where he crushes deeply annoying Elizabeth Hasselbeck:
"If waterboarding is OK, why don't we let our police do it to suspects so they can learn what they know?" he asked. "If waterboarding is OK, why didn't we waterboard [Timothy] McVeigh and Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers, to find out if there were more people involved? ... We only seem to waterboard Muslims... Have we waterboarded anyone else? Name me someone else who has been waterboarded."
My only complaint is that I deeply wish Ventura was going around saying this even two years ago, instead of making these observations in the much safer political climate he's in now.
I think that's good for now. I wonder if that will spike the stats any...
1. Put your record on (live) - Corinne Bailey Rae*
2. Hold me - Weezer
3. Fancy claps - Wolf Parade
4. I still haven't found what I'm looking for (live) - U2
5. Acid tongue - Jenny Lewis