Zing away, but let it be over already

October 03, 2012

The goobers who set up the presidential debate did so without checking the deadlines of Certain Columnists, who must now miss out on all the fun, because by the time Tuesday rolls around all the good jokes will be taken.

I’m not complaining, though.

I just want it to be over. Never in my life have I more fervently wished for an event to be done with than I have this debate. All right, maybe the Royal Wedding, but that’s about it.

I’m old school. I like the teams to just line up and start hitting each other, without all the hype and empty pre-game analysis from people who know as much about democracy as Vlad the Impaler.

By all means, don’t spend a valuable week of campaign coverage reporting Obama’s nonexistent record, or Romney’s nonexistent plans. No, we don’t want that; instead, we would rather listen to a five-minute spot about how many quarts of sweat poured off Richard Nixon’s face in 1960, or who the candidates are using as “stand-ins” for each other in their debate prep.

And please, don’t insult our intelligence by telling us that John Kerry is the actual Romney verbal tackling dummy used by Obama, and not an attempt at one more sight-association of Romney as the wealthy, stiff, out-of-touch, condescending patrician. Who did you think the Democrats would use, Andy Griffith?

As for the Republicans, I’d like to know who they think they’re kidding by ginning up the idea that the polls are cooked to make Obama appear to be a shoo-in.

To me, it looks to be the exact opposite — the media are out there taking the whip to the fly-encircled horse-corpse that is the Romney campaign, trying to get it to move so they’ll have something interesting to report.

The way it’s going, they’re scared stiff there won’t be any drama, and only three people are still going to be awake at 11 p.m. on election night to watch Wolf Blitzer play with his stinkin’ light-up electoral map in his stinkin’ “Situation Room.”

That’s why they’re saying these debates are a big chance for Romney, whose campaign apparently is being run by a partnership between Karl Rove and American Airlines.

And, if your campaign is being accused of acting too much like Klown Kollege, what do you do? That’s right, you try to frame this debate on the basis of who can land the most “zingers.”

Yes, according to the New York Times, “Mr. Romney’s team has ... equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August.”

That news sent the press off on a wild, 24-hour cycle of zinger nostalgia, dredging up such moments as “You’re no Jack Kennedy;” “There you go again;” and “Where’s the beef?”

We even learned that Reagan’s way-cool line about not making age an issue in the campaign — he would not focus on Mondale’s youth and inexperience — was fed to him by his handlers.

I have no problem with that. Matter of fact, the only way I’ll watch is if they can guarantee me that the debates will be a series of zingers, a la “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Romney: Your momma’s so poor I saw her kicking a can down the street and I asked her what she was doing and she said “moving.”

Obama: Your momma’s so fat her blood type is “Ragu.”

Romney: You still putting up bricks? What is this a Masons convention?

Obama: Hey, pretty boy! I looked up president in the dictionary and it said “Not you.”

If that happened last night, let me know and I’ll watch the next one.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at

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