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Presidential Debates Season Finale

I was really excited to come home from work tonight. I knew what was awaiting me. Just like that Thursday night in the spring of 1998 when I knew there was only one last hour in history of my favorite foursome: Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer.

This time it would be the last 90 minutes of the fall television season’s favorite leading characters, Barack Obama and John McCain.

But when I first tuned in for tonight’s season finale of the Presidential Debates, I was disappointed. I felt as though I was watching a rerun of the last episode about the economy and taxes.

Luckily there was a new guest star tonight, Bob Schieffer, and he helped stir things up. The story started getting juicy when he posed a question about each campaign’s attacks on the other. McCain tried to blame his attacks against Obama on his opponent’s refusal to partake in a series of town hall meetings. McCain defended everything his crowds and running mate have said. He then proceeded to invoke his campaign’s chief attacks against Obama: Ayers and ACORN. Obama replied by saying, “I think these allegations say more about your campaign than they say about me.”

Then came the zinger. Schieffer posed the question: “Why would the country be better off if your running mate became president?” My roommate and I looked at each other and started laughing. We even laughed all the way through Obama’s answer, then fell silent as soon as it was McCain’s turn to talk. We couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say about the disgraceful Palin. You just can’t make this stuff up.

McCain answered by saying, Sarah Palin is a “role model for women and other reformers.” Then he said that America needs (what sounded to me like) a “breast of fresh air.” Turned out he said a “brush of fresh air,” and corrected himself to say “a breath of fresh air,.” Phew—keeping up with a 71-year-old is tough!

It’s no wonder reality TV programs, such as the series, Presidential Debates, do so well with ratings. Just when you think they’re going down hill and will lose all viewership, the characters bounce right on back with Jerry Springer-esque feistiness and recapture our attention.

–Jamie Wong