I despair

This is just too fucking much. Via Shakesville: the piece of elitist trash commonly known as the Wall Street Journal runs an article suggesting that Americans won’t vote for Obama because we’re so fat and he’s so skinny. No, really. The level of fatuousness must be read to be believed. Is this really what passes for political analysis in the WSJ?

Food faux pas have plagued presidential candidates in the past. On a 1976 visit to Texas, Gerald Ford bit into a tamale with the corn husk still on. He lost the election to Jimmy Carter. In 2003, Mass. Sen. John Kerry was labeled effete when he ordered a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss instead of the usual Cheez Whiz topping.

Yes, John Kerry totally lost the 2004 election because he was too much of a pussy to eat Cheez Whiz.

I don’t really have anything to add to the posts at Shakesville and Sadly, No besides ears-steaming, head-exploding sputtering, but I do want to point out one little factual error in the article:

The last overweight president to be elected was 335-pound William Howard Taft in 1908.

Actually, you lazy never-heard-of-fact-checking assholes, according to your own disgustingly objectifying graphic, that’s not true at all.

At 5’11″ and 190 pounds — i.e., a BMI of 26.5 — the last overweight president to be elected is none other than George W. Bush.

ETA: Check out No More Mister Nice Blog for even more evidence of the astounding incompetence of the reporting here:

And now we get to see what separates the rest of us from Real Professional Journalists. Chozick writes:

“I won’t vote for any beanpole guy,” [a] Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.

What Chozick doesn’t tell you is that this wasn’t a spontaneous online expression of anti-thinness contempt — a couple of weeks ago, Chozick herself started the thread in which that message appeared.

The rest of the article? McCain campaign talking points.

77 thoughts on “I despair

  1. Ahh, but you have to be 70 lbs overweight as a man to experience discrimination (i.e., 70 lbs overweight before you’re actually ‘overweight’).

    No, really, what the hell was that? It sounds like, “Hey, let’s propose the stupidest thing ever and provide pieces of bullshit evidence because clearly we don’t have anything else to talk about!” Day.

  2. It sounds like, “Hey, let’s propose the stupidest thing ever and provide pieces of bullshit evidence because clearly we don’t have anything else to talk about!” Day.

    “I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing of moment happening anywhere in the world to report!”

  3. Somehow I’ve managed to vote in every presidential election since 1980 (the year I turned eighteen) without ever once factoring the size of the candidates’ pants into the decision.

    Clearly I am UnAmerican.

    I am deeply ashamed of myself.

  4. “At 5′11″ and 190 pounds — i.e., a BMI of 26.5 — the last overweight president to be elected is none other than George W. Bush.”

    Do stolen elections count as elected?

    Sorry, my tinfoil hat was still on. But it does go to show that their mental picture of “overweight” is Taft, not Bush or Clinton.

  5. There is some research showing that people are more likely to vote for tall candidates, and this would be in favor of Obama. Considering that we also are more likely to buy products located to our right side and afterwards come up with bogus explanations why we chose the product (bogus because you can exchange the products and people still favor the one on the right) I can imagine that. But the thing is, every single one of those preferences only has a tiny influence on people’s behavior.
    In any case, I would certainly be glad if Obama would win – but since I am not a US citizen I cannot vote in this election anyways.

  6. okay, I just finished reading the entire article, and I want to vomit. Seriously.

    Beyond the concept of the article and the poor reporting –and the sprinkling of sexism wrt to Hillary Clinton connecting with middle-aged women voters by going on Weight Watchers — the whole thing just makes me sick.

    The scruitny paid to both McCain and Obama’s eating and exercise habits in this article — and the fact that it basically says you’re screwed if you diet too much or diet too little — shows just how patholigically fucked up this country is when it comes to body image.

  7. Okay, does this whole “fat is so acceptable, skinny people are being discriminated against” thing remind anyone else of all the “Christians are so oppressed” bullshit?

    I also especially enjoy the fact that they had one of those sideshow “guess your weight” people size up Obama, ’cause that pesky HIPAA legislation prevents Obama’s doc from telling and all. Well, and plus all the “he used to be chubby, but now he only nibbles” bullshit.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  8. Who started the Sanity Watchers thing? Because I’ve decided I’m on the Core version of Sanity Watchers. I can read ANYTHING I WANT so long as it isn’t asinine. So the WSJ is pretty much out. Sorry.

  9. Ooh, but you’re forgetting that Georgey and his ‘extra’ poundage are just uber-manly muscle (DUUHHH!!!!ONLY WOMENSAREFATz!!!). That is the uber-manly muscle he needs to oppress the entire planet with see?

  10. Okay, the WSJ (and this article) is stupid. I have nothing more to say about that. But, at the risk of looking like an idiot, is that first guy (who I assume is Washington, but really could be any old guy from back then, I can’t tell them apart and his face looks funny if he’s Washington, but I digess) is ity bity!

  11. Mmmm . . . I thought I cared about the whole Presidential election thing for a minute, I even voted in the primary. But the media has made this never-ending election cycle pretty much unbearable, I have stopped listening to the NPR even.

    And now back to your regularly scheduled apathy.

  12. Other things that, per that graphic, set Obama apart from the other presidents: he is wearing a track suit. He is dribbling a basketball.

    I’m surprised they didn’t post the picture of him coming out of the ocean with his shirt off, the fuckers.

  13. OH WAIT Bill Clinton is in shorts and a t-shirt. So that makes it a smidge lest racist and more about painting Democratic candidates as sloppy? Because you know, Bill Clinton wasn’t exactly lauded for his svelte figure.

    But still. The basketball. Really? A basketball????

  14. OTM — I noticed that too, but they did put Clinton in his jogging outfit. So apparently it’s Democrats that don’t dress presidentially.

  15. You know, Taft doesn’t look that fat to me. I always heard about how he was so fat he got stuck in a bathtub, and that man doesn’t look fat enough to get stuck in a bathtub. Probably it’s one of those made-up stories.

    Also, did he partially win his election because he convinced everyone he was a jolly fat man? That would never work now.

    I also don’t know who the first dude is. Looking at this website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/), it’s not John Adams or Thomas Jefferson; the only other possible candidate is James Madison. I just read somewhere else that Washington was six feet tall, so it can’t be him. And … we have a winner! “Descriptions for James Madison’s height vary from 5’2″ to 5’6″. The better the person giving the description liked Madison, the taller they tended to say he was. He was said to weigh 100 pounds only if he had a hat full of rocks.” (http://www.jamesmadisonmus.org/faqs.htm#howtall)

    But the hell? Who’s gonna know that’s Madison and not Washington? My first thought was, wow, and he a great general and everything!

  16. Madison. The little dude is James Madison. He was also about the smartest man EVER to be in the White House.

    And yes, Taft’s hat kicks serious ass.

  17. Oh dang, my comment is in moderation. I put links in it. I was just trying to cite my sources, but I guess it messed up the system there. I was going to say that it’s Madison. :)

  18. Taft’s hat rules. I think he looks awesome.

    But this is just another example of the disingenuous (headed) fatty photo — the “66% of the voting-age population [that] is overweight ” looks more like W than it does like Papa Taft.* But no no, they can’t relate to Obama! He plays basketball and eats arugula!

    *Don’t know if anyone called him that, but they should have

  19. are we still using “pussy” as a derogatory term?

    sam, I don’t generally; I used it in this post because I thought it was the implied insult behind mention of Kerry’s “effete” choice of Swiss (foreign!) cheese. My line is meant to be a) a ventriloquism of the article, and b) drenched in sarcasm. I understand if that doesn’t mitigate the offensiveness of the term.

  20. I am not defending this article, but: you either put Cheez Whiz or provolone on a cheese steak. I think the author was going for a “omg totes gay Swiss cheese elitist pansy” thing, but as a Delaware Valley native, I can say unequivocally that Swiss on a cheese steak is not okay.

  21. WmH Taft = Made of Hot.

    Anyhoo (ahem!) the problem with the Wall Street Journal can be summed up in two words: Rupert Murdoch. The owner of the New York Post bought the WSJ from Dow Jones about a year ago, and it’s been on a downhill slide ever since. So this kind of trashy op-ed piece doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    The WSJ is *desperate* to make McCain look good and Obama bad (lost cause, dudes, give it up…)

  22. Tari, on August 1st, 2008 at 6:25 pm Said:
    Okay, does this whole “fat is so acceptable, skinny people are being discriminated against” thing remind anyone else of all the “Christians are so oppressed” bullshit?

    Whoa! Yes. Yes it does. Thanks for the new lightbulb over my head.

    WmH Taft = Made of Hot.

    This needs to be a t-shirt.

  23. Was Taft a democrat? Because he’s got a GOLF CLUB in his hands.

    (woefully undereducated in US history, I am)

    And yes yes yes 1000 times yes to the this whole “fat is so acceptable, skinny people are being discriminated against” thing remind anyone else of all the “Christians are so oppressed” bullshit?
    thing!

  24. Well, I’m way out of my league here, but isn’t Taft portrayed in that graphic in the equivalent of a jogging suit…his golf clothes? And, also, if I’m not much mistaken he was a Republican. So, I’m afraid that the “Democrats are slob exercisers” conspiracy theory has to fall to the wayside.

    But, that said, even “the fat one” exercised.

  25. As I said on Shakesville, it reminds me of something that would happen in junior high elections. “I won’t vote for Becky because she can eat anything she wants and is still SOOOO skinny! I hate her!” Is the electorate truly that shallow?

    There are many things I can’t relate to when it comes to Barack Obama – I’m not a man. I’m not black. I’m not a lawyer. I didn’t go to an ivy league school…. the list goes on and on. I also can’t relate to McCain on many thing – not a war veteran, not a senior citizen, etc. You get the point.

    None of these things factor into who I’m going to vote for. I’m looking for someone who I think will be true to the principles I hold dear. Frankly, I don’t think either one of them will but Obama is a damned bit closer to my lefty ideals than McCain.

    Oh, and the WSJ? Full of SUCK. That is all. ;)

  26. bellacoker, on August 1st, 2008 at 7:28 pm Said:
    The old guy might be John Adams, he was wee, right?

    Short, but not exactly wee. He was teased constantly about his weight and dubbed “His Rotundity” because he was a round, muscular guy despite (hah!) his Spartan diet and habit of walking several miles a day.

  27. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that anyone significantly overweight – uh, I have no idea how to define that, but you get the point – or underweight would be able get elected president. Nor do I think a man under 5’5″ or so would be elected. I think that people would believe that a very overweight/underweight/short man doesn’t look presidential enough.

    Also, I had an interesting discussion w/ my mom the other day where we concluded that a black man with very dark skin and more typically African features (such as a wide nose) would never be elected as president of the US. Anyone agree/disagree w/ that statement?

  28. SM, that update you added has me goggling. I mean, that’s not just incompetence: that’s outright journalistic malfeasance, if such a crime exists. And it should, but, like, if it were possible to arrest people for it, Fox News wouldn’t exist.

  29. Emi, I disagree with that statement. It will likely be stupefyingly HARD road on the very black … person … (look at the Hilary and Obama hijinks) but if all of us keep repeating such nonsense it becomes fact.

    I’m Canadian, but it bears repeating: I saw Obama in 2002 and started a wee bit of oh-my-god a thinking rhetoritician fanclub up North of the Border. But even back then, my progressive American friends were poo pooing the idea of a black man being able to because “Americans are so racist”. And I got sort of pissed. Support the person you’re going to support, and quit whinging about the colour or gender of your candidate, because if you’re backing your second best choice due to the colour of your first’s best choice’s skin, you are making a *racist decision*. Don’t fucking do the work of racism – or sexism – for those with whom you are contesting.

    And the fact is, there are very black people qualified for the job of president.

    Someday, we will all pull our heads out of our collective asses and elect them, especially if we *stop dismissing people because of race*. Which is what you and your mom did, even if you “in premise” disagree with it. Pass that kind of slander around enough, and very black people won’t EVER get a frikkin’ CHANCE to win.

  30. Does anyone else find it interesting that although most of us seem to be in agreement that placing such scrutiny on the body image of Presidential candidates is irrelevant, shallow and inappropriate, a number of us are still noticing and commenting over James Madison’s height, and even throwing around words like ‘wee’ and ‘little dude’?

  31. Well, Scarlett, people are also talking about the height and weight of Taft, and Abe Lincoln’s height. I think it’s because it’s so related to the topic of this post, not because people here think it’s an important factor in determining who to vote for.

  32. @ Lynne,

    I see your point, and it is relevant to the subject of the post – it certainly illustrates that body image is a much greater concern in the modern-day US than it was in Madison or Taft’s eras!

    On the other hand, I have to say that I’m a little taken aback by the use of terms such as ‘itty-bitty’, ‘wee’ etc. to describe an adult human being – to my ears, at least, it sounds a little patronising, although perhaps that wasn’t the intention of the original commenters.

  33. As somebody on Fark pointed out, it sounds like a story by the newscaster on the Simpsons. In truth, a lot of people won’t admit what my nephew’s neighbor said point-blank:”I’d like to vote for him, but I can’t vote for a black guy.” People would rather talk about “elitist” or “inexperienced” or any other McGuffin (what Alfred Hitchcock called the plot device that was really beside the point in his movies), but not the truth. So, O.K., I guess “skinny” is as good a fake reason to not vote for a black guy as you can find.

  34. The basketball. Good goddess that creates cute orange kittens, the basketball. Does anyone else besides me think the ONLY reason Taft and Clinton are shown in “sports clothes” is so they can CTA by saying, “We’re not racist! We showed two WHITE GUYS playing sports too”?

    And seriously? Obama’s metabolism is too fast for him to win? Silly WSJ. If I don’t vote for Obama, it’s not going to be because he’s not round enough for me, it’s gonna be because he’s too triangular. And I’m not talking about physique, either.

  35. I think Eve mentioned the Taft/bathtub thing upthread. And yeah, that is a legend. He didn’t get stuck in a bathtub. But he did have a larger one installed in the White House bathroom than was there previously. I can’t blame the guy. Who doesn’t love a roomy bathtub?

    I can almost see where WSJ is coming from. There’s a tiny kernel of truth in the midst of the ton of BS. You look at someone like Bill Clinton, and the fact that he’s a little rounder faced, and not a total OMG hardbody gives him an air of approachability that, say, Bob Dole was completely missing. But I doubt that’s such a big factor for most voters, and being a little cuddly isn’t the only way to achieve that je nais se quoi of friendliness. I think Obama’s lovely genuine smile has the same effect.

  36. Eh. I wasn’t using ‘little dude’ to be offensive, just as an identifier, but if someone was offended, then I apologize.

    I have a friend (male) who’s 4’11 or something and does appreciate being referred to as ‘wee’, but he’s undoubtedly an exception.

  37. WSJ totally forgot Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California. And while it’s not like being the President, it’s still a pretty high-profile job. But there were no articles saying people wouldn’t vote for him because he was a hardbody.

  38. You look at someone like Bill Clinton, and the fact that he’s a little rounder faced, and not a total OMG hardbody gives him an air of approachability that, say, Bob Dole was completely missing

    Or that approachability comes from his charisma, his stellar speaking skills, and the fact that he doesn’t refer to himself in the third person.

  39. I think Obama has a shot as his weight is very similar to Abe Lincoln’s.

    Maybe that will work to relieve worried fat voters — Obama could say, I know I look thin to many people, but I weigh a surprisingly similar amount to Abe. Just one more way I’m just like Lincoln.

    (I am an Obama supporter).

  40. The majority of Americans are overweight, yes. Yet there’s also a huge stigma against fat people in this country. In order for this to be reinforced, it seems like many overweight Americans must revile themselves and each other, and I haven’t seen much evidence to contradict that.

    So, basically, what I’m saying is that most overweight people in this country hate other fat people at least as much as they hate themselves (except for those of us who have learned/are trying to accept our own and each others’ bodies). In this context, Obama’s skinniness is more likely an asset than a liability.

  41. Or that approachability comes from his charisma, his stellar speaking skills, and the fact that he doesn’t refer to himself in the third person.

    That’s probably an even bigger part of it. But it’s fun to try to see things from the stupid perspective of annoying journalists, just to see if you can find any sense in it. That’s the nearest I could come up with. (shrug)

  42. “WmH Taft = Made of Hot.

    This needs to be a t-shirt.”

    I would buy that shirt.

    Also, looking at that chart my first thought was “wow, Madison was tiny!”, and then I looked at the numbers and he was a whole 4 inches (by the number they list) taller than me! It’s funny how short he looks comparitively yet, 5’4″ is really not that short.
    Of course I am a lot fatter than he is, so I wouldn’t look much at all like him on there. I’d be closer to a shrunken version of taft… well somewhere between him and clinton, only in 5ft female version
    :-P

  43. “Is this what passes for political discourse these days?”

    *smirk*

    Need you even ask?

    They cannot handle the fact that the presumptive Democratic candidate for President of the United States is an attorney and Constitutional scholar and professor (you should have heard him break down the Constitutional arguments for choice at this fundraiser. In, like, nothing flat. It was bad-ass).

    Who also plays basketball.

    Can. Not. Handle. It.

    I am personally waiting for the heads to go ‘splodey.

    We are a national of anti-intellectuals. That’s just really coming to the fore in comparison with what’s going on in the rest of the world.

    Welcome to the last days. Watch it burn.

    (Hmmm. Guess I’m a little angsty myself. Have to go get over it. Sorry.)

  44. Gaah. I am a political junkie and such ridiculous puff pieces really anger me. Am I the only voter who would like to see journalists actually report on WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND ON THE ISSUES? Oh no, please go ahead and tell me more about Obama and his flag lapel pin.

    Gosh, when I was I was in my introduction to newspaper writing class, they told us we had to report the facts, not manipulate them in order to present our opinion as fact. Have things changed that much?

  45. Well, I do think his thinness has an effect…SUBCONSCIOUSLY. His appearance–tall, thin, handsome, well-dressed–reinforces the negative stereotype that he’s elitist. People associate all those things with “upper class.”

    That said, um…poor him? All those things have way better good subconscious associations than bad. I’m sure his appearance helps way more than it hurts. There’s a reason tall men make more money, and it’s not because they’re smarter.

    I think the point about appearance is that (almost) everyone claims it has no effect on his/her evaluations of others’ capabilities, and for (almost) everyone it does.

    P.S., off topic: I was recently reading a book that described diminutive James Madison as 5’6” and 140 pounds. Because my husband is 5’6” and 135 pounds, I was relieved to discover Madison was actually much smaller, and thus my husband isn’t a tiny man. Isn’t it sad that I cared?

  46. There is something redeeming about the graphic. Obama looks like he’s about to bean McCain in the head with that basketball, and a good portion of the American electorate can identify with that.

  47. @ Arwen – This is really late, so I don’t know if you’ll see it, but I like what you have to say. I also want to note that my writing was sloppy – I wrote “could never become president, ” when I meant to say, “could not be elected now” – i.e., this election cycle. Thanks for responding to me!

    @ Jul – sure, Bush wasn’t elected in 2000, but he was elected in 2004 – would you disgree w/ that?

  48. I’d really hope to god that American isn’t picking it’s next president based on his looks- be that race or weight!
    I mean for godsake! The man is offering change! Change we can believe in.. or something like that. I’ll have to check the slogan again. It’s hovering right there…just…reach out and grab it.. (please do not think I am promoting..just humor. laugh- it’s good for you)

    On that note I think the idea that “most americans are racist” can be flushed down the tubes. It seems there is a sizable amount of them that would vote for a black president. This shouldn’t come as a surprise- after all Bill Clinton was very popular when he was a bigger guy.
    Now lets see if they’ve vote for a fat black woman president..

    President Oprah anyone? …anyone?

  49. Emi, a whole lot of people in Ohio in 2004 will tell you that BushCo never got elected that year, either.
    *snort*
    Yeah, three thousand-some extra votes for Bush on just one machine the next suburb over from me, much?

  50. On that note I think the idea that “most americans are racist” can be flushed down the tubes. It seems there is a sizable amount of them that would vote for a black president. This shouldn’t come as a surprise- after all Bill Clinton was very popular when he was a bigger guy.

    what?? no seriously, every single sentence in this is making me shake my head. also, the “laugh- it’s good for you” part sure makes you sound like a troll…

  51. On that note I think the idea that “most americans are racist” can be flushed down the tubes. It seems there is a sizable amount of them that would vote for a black president. This shouldn’t come as a surprise- after all Bill Clinton was very popular when he was a bigger guy.

    kissedthepixies, I suggest you do some serious reading before making your conclusion that most Americans aren’t racist. Voting for a black president is not the magical sign that says you aren’t racist. If anything, the reaction to Obama’s candidacy shows how entrenched racism is in our society. Racism is a system in which we all are implicated — google “institutionalized racism” and “white privilege” for starters.

    And how this is connected to Bill Clinton is really beyond me.

  52. I think the Bill Clinton part meant that racism and fatphobia are the same? Which is why my brain exploded.

  53. I think you’re reading too deeply into my attempted lighthearted commentary. Firstly, I don’t come from America- I read and watch this as an outsider. Perhaps the reason that I shouldn’t have opened my mouth and took a crack at the American political system- as was intended.. not at the expense of black people or fat people.

    Neither was my comment to be taken that I think being black and being fat are the same thing. They’re clearly not but many in the FA/SA communities take the standpoint that being Fatness is the last acceptable thing to be unaccepting of… therefore it was a joke to the tune of “if they’ll accept a fat president then they must accept a black president!” – which makes some sort of sense if we do accept that being fat is the last place that people can comfortably feel they can discriminate. And I believe it is.

    I’m sorry to have offended you. Unfortunately I’m not very well read. I have no articles or books to reference. I am very aware of institutionalized racism. My comment was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.. not taken literally.. hence my stating that we need to laugh at the craziness at what I was saying. Perhaps politics and humor don’t belong together.

    Please see the first line I posted… I said exactly what I really feel right there.. that I really hope America isn’t picking it’s president based on race or weight.. be that black or white – large or thin. Neither of these indications have anything to do with the persons politics.

  54. WOW, Suzi. That makes me laugh, but it’s partially nervous, disgusted laughing. I still despair, but now for OTHER reasons! Wow.

  55. Such mixed feelings about this one. On one hand I’m deeply disgusted on the other I kind of get it. I think it’s hard sometimes to move beyond our own over intellectualized attackattackattack approach to politics and this election in particular and remember that a great deal of the country in which we live does not inhabit the same privileged intellectual space.

    To wit, this is not the first time I’ve heard this particular viewpoint about Obama. My great-grandmother for example sighs deeply and dramatically every time Obama pops up on her TV and says “That boy needs to put some meat on his bones.”

    The fact of the matter is that while we would like to think that people will vote on the issues the majority of people will not. There is a reason why more African-Americans are set to vote in this election than any other just as there as a reason why the fingers of many white suburbans are hovering hesitantly over the Obama button. The reason, is, quite simply that we are all naturally drawn to people who look like us and live the way that we do.

    While some of us manage to tamp down those feelings in favor of focusing on a more complete sample of the information available to us, many of us simply gravitate toward that which is familiar and comfortable, and eschew that which is not.

    Though I personally intend to focus on the issues when I cast my vote in this campaign, I know that my great grandmother and many others would feel a lot more comfortable going to the polls if he’d pick up a cheeseburger every once in a while.

    I don’t think this is a matter of right and wrong so much as it is one of perspective. I happen to think that Obama would make a great president for reasons that have nothing to do with his waistline. But politics is in many respects a game of what appears to be rather than what is.

    The question then, is if eating or behaving a certain way will help Obama appear more everyday and accessible to a certain portion of the population while posing no real threat to his political message or well being is it really that big of a deal? What’s the real goal here, a perfect world, or a better one?

  56. They’re clearly not but many in the FA/SA communities take the standpoint that being Fatness is the last acceptable thing to be unaccepting of… therefore it was a joke to the tune of “if they’ll accept a fat president then they must accept a black president!” – which makes some sort of sense if we do accept that being fat is the last place that people can comfortably feel they can discriminate. And I believe it is.

    kissedthepixies, this is exactly what I think SM and I seemed to be sensing and were reacting to here. This has come up a lot lately, in quite a few threads, and you might want to go read up on it a bit. I think everyone is getting a bit sick of beating that horse, though. Summary: it’s not true and it’s a harmful thing to assert.

    Though I personally intend to focus on the issues when I cast my vote in this campaign, I know that my great grandmother and many others would feel a lot more comfortable going to the polls if he’d pick up a cheeseburger every once in a while.

    Cora, seriously? I mean, the candidates eat in public all over the place. It’s a huge part of campaigning. If you keep up with a campaign in the news you’ll see Obama eat in public. Also, I know you’re just quoting and that it’s your great-grandmother, but good god, the phrase “put some meat on [his/her/their] bones” makes me want to gouge my own eyes out. I have no interest in sympathizing with or accomodating anyone who says that phrase.

    (Also also, see the comment above about how the WSJ stole this from the Onion if you are taking the article seriously and thinking it is based on some kernel of truth. It’s based on a JOKE. Though that Onion video itself uses up a few SW points for sure.)

  57. Sweet Machine

    No, but I will say that the reason she’s NOT voting for McCain is because he (to her eyes) looks like George Bush, she’s said as much. From her perspective that only leaves one candidate, so the effect is much the same in that for her, the decision is made on the basis of appearance from some perspective.

    It’s all about appearances with her, and I imagine with quite a few Americans. People vote for the person they like the look of or who looks the most like them or does things they identify with or like.

    Again, I would love to believe that most people are at least engaged in a some sort of rudimentary political analysis, but honestly I think it’s closer to 50/50.

  58. Lynne,

    *shrugs* whether the phrase does or doesn’t make you, me or anyone else want to gouge their eyes out isn’t really the point, nor is the source of the comment. Additionally whether you do or don’t sympathize with the comment or it’s source is also irrelevant. . . the point is that it’s an idea that’s out there, I don’t personally agree with it, but that doesn’t change the fact of it’s presence. Nor is it an issue of accommodation on your part, after all, you’re not trying to win an election. Actually I don’t know that, so if you are good luck ; )

    Which is my point here, I guess, how much is too much, what sacrifices count and which one’s don’t in terms of goal achievement. . .maybe that’s too personal a question to attempt to answer on someone else’s behalf and if so, my bad. . . it was just a thought.

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