SUNDAY MORNING TALKING HEADS
Timmeh hosted a debate between the candidates for the U.S. Senate from Maryland, Cardin (D), a current Congressman, and Michael Steele (R), the Lt. Governor. Steele is polished, poised, and articulate. Until, that is, the subjects of embryonic stem-cell research, in vitro fertilization, Roe v. Wade, and Supreme Court Justices arise. Then his conservative Republican positions are awkward for him, and this morning he tried to sidestep, obfuscate and equivocate. Cardin, who seemed much less smooth than Steele for most of the hour, had his roughest moments when both Russert and Steele challenged his positions on the Iraq war -- Cardin called for "a plan" from the Bush administration about as many times as Reese Witherspoon said, "So you were in the shower" in the trial at the end of Legally Blonde. But Cardin scored well on the issues that made Steele stumble.
Michael J. Fox's appearance on This Week evoked a more emotional response in me than even did his political ad supporting those Democrats who champion embryonic stem cell research. He obviously had real trouble speaking, and his very visible tremors were more painful to watch.
The panel on This Week was split on the economy. George Will insisted that "the facts" demonstrate that the economy is terrific. E.J. Dionne pointed out that people care about the facts that affect them personally, and a large swath of the country isn't feeling any Bush Boom. Will said Ken Mehlman was "appalled" by the RNC ad ("Harold! Call me.") against Harold Ford, but that campaign laws kept Mehlman from being able to do anything about it. Excuse me? asked Dionne. It was sponsored by the RNC, and Mehlman is chairman.
UPDATE: Like everyone else on Blogger, I wrote this just after the shows this morning, but I haven't been able to post all day. It's anyone's guess whether or not we'll be able to keep up with events this last week before the election.