Nothing much left to do about the election, other than hand out a couple of awards for memorable performances.
I thought I would call these “Daleys” in honor of Richard J. Daley, “Da Mair” of the Windy City from 1955 until the mid-70s, who ghettoized the city, unleashed thugs on peaceful demonstrators, helped elevate Bill Ayers to national prominence and who begat a son who helped elevate Barack Obama to the presidency.
But most of all, Richard J. Daley slaughtered the language, most memorably when he declared, “We must rise to higher and higher platitudes.”
In that spirit, I award “Daleys” to:
Barack Obama for the convoluted catchphrase: “We are the people we have been waiting for.” Another famous Chicagoan, writer Nicholas von Hoffman, may have inspired this Zennish-anyone construction when he wrote a paean to ‘60s protesters called, “We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against.”
Joe Biden for his remembrance of President Franklin D. Roosevelt having gone on television to speak to the American people after the 1929 stock market crash -- more than three years before FDR became president and 10 years before television existed.
Sarah Palin for her belief that the vice president runs the U.S. Senate and that political criticism violates her First Amendment rights.
William Kristol, the genetic mistake hatched by two former Communists-turned-neocons, who suggested in a column just today that liberals are not really opposed to tyranny and genocide.
John McCain for a last-minute TV commercial that asks if you would want to fly in a plane piloted by someone making his first flight – which suggests to many people an answer like:
“Yes, I would if the alternative were having to bail out over Hanoi, having the plane start a fire on an aircraft carrier, clipping power lines on a joyride in Spain, plummeting into Corpus Christi Bay, or slamming into a clump of trees on your way back from the Army-Navy game.”
And, finally, to Virginia Republican congressional candidate Keith Fimian, running for an open seat against a well-known local Democratic officeholder, by using a campaign commercial tagline against his opponent that I consider the best ever:
“Too corrupt. Even for Congress.”
Remember, tomorrow is a day that will change history. So vote early and vote often.