Call me a maverick, but, I must disagree with the prevailing post-final-debate analysis.
While the punches thrown by John McCain so impressed most of political world, I thought they were puny. To me they looked like the weak efforts of an exhausted fighter who knows he's about to lose unless he can muster up the energy to land one big knockout blow.
All Obama had to do was stay out of reach while McCain flailed around, swinging wildly. It didn't even take any fancy footwork. Nothing landed.
It's not that the Republican trainers didn't try to teach him any cheap shots.
It was clear, the handlers who had been hovering over Sarah Palin, switched to John McCain's corner for the final main event. They got him to remember a few, uh, punch lines. We could actually watch him almost jump out of his skin until he got to use them.
"Joe the Plumber" is now living the dream. Who would have thought he would be handed his 15 minutes of fame this way. If he plays his cards right, and gets a good agent, he can parlay this into enough paid appearances that he'll easily afford that small business he says he wants. Of course, he may decide he prefers show biz to toilet biz.
Apparently, McCain was trying to utilize Joe (may I call him "Joe"?) to demonize Obama for planning to "spread the wealth around". Again, call me a maverick, but hasn't our financial debacle suggested we should consider just that? After all, wasn't it caused by a greedy few who were already obscenely and undeservedly rich beyond imagination?
My favorite jabs, however, were not the ones featuring Joe the plumber. Mine was the rehearsed sound bite starring George the President. "I am not President Bush", snapped McCain, "If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago". I THINK Obama noticed that one. It was hard to tell.
With that roundhouse zinger out of the way, the two fighters reverted to their same-old-same-old and finally left us with something to celebrate: At last the months and months of debate contrivances had all run their course The long national nightmare was over.
Let's be honest though, this has been one hell of a fight card and to give a Yogi Berra warning, it ain't really over cause it ain't really over.
We have now reached the middle of October. This is when those who seem to be hopelessly behind throw their brutal sucker punch. If it lands it can change the entire outcome, if it riles up the judges who give their split decision, in less than three weeks. I'm speaking of course of us voters.
Even then, it's not over. In fact it's just beginning for the winner. He will have to clean up the huge mess left by the previous victor. But at least we won't have to endure all these pathetic matchups and you won't have to suffer through such shameless boxing cliches. Best of all, you probably won't have to hear that word "maverick" anymore.
Now THAT is something to celebrate.