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Reimagining circumstances on Election Day

Fun story lines this season have included Joe the Plumber.

By Amara Birman

Shortly before the election, I am thinking about what David Broder said — that this is the best campaign he ever covered.

Personally, I think it could have been better, and much. Obama is tremendously flawed as I have pointed out in previous posts, but McCain is as exciting as a potato. Biden makes things up all the time, and Palin fell from the sky and no one can take her seriously.

Sure, there have been some fun story lines — from Joe the Plumber, to Tina Fey, to 30-minute infomercials — but think about how different the discourse could have been, which would have only benefited the public.For nostalgia, I am going to put my old boss, Rudy Giuliani, back into this and let Sen. Hillary Clinton stand in for Barack Obama. All of a sudden, I can imagine a race on issues and experience and record; a race with thick resumes, diverse and equally impressive inspiration, accomplishment, knowledge, leadership and skill sets; an election between good and better.

Instead, Tuesday, America will be forced to make a choice between bad and worse. The novelty of Barack Obama will wear off and he will be forced to govern and not only adhere to message discipline — which, to his credit, he has done impeccably. He will inherit the economic crisis and actually have to practice foreign policy from a dangerously inexperienced vantage point.

On the other hand, if by some strange twist of fate John McCain pulls it out, he will have to be a president, a leader, tough and decisive, and the country and the world will have to look up to him. That’s going to be tough. Yes, he is a hero, but his ability to inspire is nil.

It’s a choice now between lack of experience and lack of luster. In a year that was so full of choices with no natural successor, no incumbent, and boundless possibilities, it is a shame that this is the decision we must make. I think America is the biggest loser tomorrow night, no matter which of the two candidates comes out on top.

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