The Hug


es, I know what you were thinking when John McCain and Sarah Palin hugged on stage last night: Does this mean she’s got Bush cooties now?

That’s not what you were thinking? Well, what then? Surely you were thinking something.

You say it didn’t strike you as worth thinking about? Then you’re just not trying. Someone on PBS last night — I forget which of the talking heads — DID see it as fraught with meaning. It was noted that Walter Mondale scrupulously avoided hugging Geraldine Ferraro during the 1984 campaign. The point being, apparently, look how far we’ve come, yadda-yadda…

Here’s what I was thinking: I noted the expression on Gov. Palin’s face. It seemed to say, "Yeah, OK, I’ve got to hug this guy; it’s expected. But I don’t have to like it. And don’t get any ideas, buster…"

Or something along those lines. I admit, my ability to read minds isn’t perfect. But I’m pretty sure she wasn’t delighted.

In any case, it’s an expression I haven’t seen on her face at any other time, so far.

11 thoughts on “The Hug

  1. just saying

    What about the kiss between Obama and Mrs. Biden at the Dem’s convention. At least from the PBS camera angle it was more than a peck on the cheek!

  2. Doug Ross

    Looks like my kids do when they have to hug their grandpa.
    And can we be done with the whole “babe” thing now? I know in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King, but let’s not make her out to be ready for America’s Next Top Model.

  3. Wally Altman

    I hate to say it but I agree with Lee. There’s nothing wrong with occasional or even frequent digressions on whatever topic crosses your mind, Brad, but no one cares about this, not even you.

  4. george32

    the Dittoheads criticized the so called MSM-though how Fox “news” and Rush with their audience in the millions are not mainstream
    while the declining readership NYT is-for not giving enough early play to the National Enquirers reports on Edwards. Now the Enquirer is reporting about the Palin telegrams to fire the former brother in law among other things, and the right is screaming, the McCain campaign is going after them, etc. What gives, did the wonderful journalistic Enquirer lose itc credibility in less than a month?

  5. Tim

    C’mon, Brad, after devoting a whole column to how disappointing you found Obama’s speech, and your conviction that McCain is The One Who Can Reach Across The Aisle, I want to hear what you have to say about the hatred that filled that room last night. Forget the hug.

  6. Phillip

    Amen, Tim. There is one side in this election that clearly believes it vital to continue dividing Americans into “us vs. them,” that continues to want to breathe life into the tired old “culture wars,” that most of all thrives on the red vs. blue divide, and I think we heard that last night, from a number of speakers, including Gov. Palin. She is a very talented politician, an adept speaker, obviously very intelligent. It was doubly disappointing, then, to hear this supposed “fresh voice” fall back on the old politics of division.

  7. Brad Warthen

    “The hatred?” You know, I never know when you guys are kidding. You are kidding, right?
    Because if you Dems are serious about the stuff I’ve seen about “hate” (a word that I believe, translated from the Democratese, means “to disagree with me”), and you Repubs are serious about the… well, I don’t even remember the words, but there were a lot of stupid ones about how mean and nasty “the media” was supposedly being to your precious Sarah (come on, Dems, remind me of some of the dumb words they used), then I think all of y’all need to take a chill pill.
    Dems, the woman delivered a boilerplate veep speech. I’ve tried to think back and remember what she said that y’all might think was so mean, and all I remember was something about a major being like a community organizer but with responsibility, and a candidate who’s authored two memoirs but no major legislation, both of which seemed like solid, above-the-belt shots to me. This is what veep candidates do, people — they criticize the opposition. The question about Palin was whether she could do it.
    And you whiny Repubs, give me a freaking break with your Spiro Agnew Revisited hyperventilation about the fact that the “media” — which, although you don’t believe it, is a plural word, and does not refer to a monolithic beast — was so terrible and awful to this woman. Come on. She sprang from McCain’s brow like Minerva from Zeus. Nobody knew squat about her, and there was a huge, sucking vacuum demanding such info. Of COURSE her daughter’s pregnancy was reported when she made a statement about it. (What I objected to in a previous post what that anyone was idiotic enough to mistake that for an “issue.” Here’s a handy-dandy guide: Abuse of power as governor, issue. Daughter’s reproductive status: Not an issue. Think you can keep that straight, folks?)
    Or did you mean, Tim, the reaction of the GOP partisans in the room? They like stuff like that, Tim. Just as the Dems in Denver like shots at the GOP team. They’re partisans. They cheer. Seems like you could let them have their moment; it’s the first time anybody in that party has looked animated this year. Dems have been cheering themselves hoarse.
    Hmm. I think this might be a post.


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