Primary Lessons

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Over the past sixteen months of the presidential campaign, I have learned many things. For example, I know that Barack Obama doesn't like to wear a flag lapel pin and that Hillary Clinton tends to get misty-eyed in diners. There was also something about universal health care and the war in Iraq, but don't quote me on that. Here are a few other things I have learned.
Don't go to church.

Seriously, this is just a bad idea. Anything, your priest/pastor/Jedi Master has to say will likely come back to haunt you. Interestingly, the people who think you're a Muslim will often be the same people who are uncomfortable with the things your Christian pastor is saying.

Momentum doesn't matter.

You can totally coast through the last primaries, if you're already ahead. Obama lost 9 of the last 14 contests, and he's still the presumptive nominee.  It reminds me a little of my last term in high school when I let up ever so slightly once I had gotten accepted to college.

Sample teacher-student conversation:
Teacher: You seem to have gotten a 63 on your last test. Any idea why?
Student: Well, it might be because I didn't study.
Teacher: Yeah, that's probably it.

Just as Barack Obama chose not to compete in West Virginia, I chose not to compete in high school chemistry. Sometimes, you just need to look ahead to the general election and/or freshman year.

Math is overrated.

I've always been a fan of math, but really at times it seemed completely irrelevant to this campaign. Kids, the next time you don't do well on a test in school, here are some arguments you can use to get a better grade:

  1. But I've done well on the last five questions of the test, and they should count more!
  2. I've scored best on the six questions that are most likely to be asked when I take this subject in college!
  3. I got the highest mark in the class, if you don't count questions 3-8, and also include the practice test I took at home last week!
  4. What about the superdelegates? Have you asked them?

John McCain is secretly a Muslim.

I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

Never say never, even if Tim Russert says you should.

I have never seen journalists look so frustrated as when Hillary Clinton didn't concede last Tuesday. On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin looked like he was about to throw something through Wolf Blitzer's big screen TV. It would be almost worth it for her to stay in the race, just to see how the media handles it.

Sometimes, you too can have an impact on the campaign.

For example, last August, I attended an Obama event at a baseball game. While he talked with voters, I managed to sit on a picnic table, within earshot of his conversations. This seemed like a good idea until a photographer bumped into me. This in turn caused me to bump into the awning of my table, which almost toppled onto Obama. Luckily, I was able to catch it in time, but, for at least a few seconds, the possible future President was paying careful attention to me.

Blogs may be bad sometimes, but they've got nothing on mainstream media.

Witness this sentence from Vanity Fair's recent piece on Bill Clinton, suggesting that the former President might not be totally faithful to his wife:

There has been talk of a female friend in Chappaqua, a woman in a bar at a meeting of the Aspen Institute, and a public sighting of Clinton, [Steve] Bing, and a ravishing entourage in a New York elevator that, a former Clinton aide told me, led a business leader who saw them to say: I don't know what the guy was doing, but it was so clear that it was just no good.

Now that's some serious journalism there. Often, I've been told things by a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, so it's good to know I can start using that stuff.  

The Osmonds know karate.

This has nothing at all to do with the election, but it's probably the most interesting fact I learned. I discovered this while watching Chuck Norris campaign for Mike Huckabee in New Hampshire. Early in his career, Chuck Norris trained various celebrities in karate, including the entire Osmond family, something to keep in mind the next time you're mocking Donnie and Marie.
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