Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Clinton and Obama did well, but McCain on American Idol: embarrassing

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Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Fri, 04/11/2008 – 8:06am

It was a short simple speech: each candidate had 30 seconds to ask Americans to give to needy children. It was all part of “Idol Gives Back” as part of FOX’s “American Idol.” Could they do it simply without making it out to be a political stump speech?

Well, you can watch for yourself here.

Hillary Clinton related to the impact made on the ground level. “I’ve had the good fortune of working with many of the groups that will benefit from your generosity.” She also note that “I can tell you that each donation will make a difference.”

She came across as warm, a feature she should show off more often. But she still finds awkward places in sentences to stop and breathe, though: it’s only 30 seconds.

Barack Obama spoke not just as the father of two young girls who are big fans of “American Idol,” but “someone who believes deeply in what tonight’s show is all about.”

Obama noted that “when ordinary people come together, they can do extraordinary things.” and commend American Idol “for the example they are setting and the work they are doing.”

Obama used the hand gestures he uses in speeches. He also came across as warm. I’m sure the use of mentioning his daughter as AI fans came across well.

Both Clinton and Obama really came across well and felt like they understood what the cause was and how best to appeal to people to make a difference.

Then there was John McCain. McCain needs to take some humor lessons from Mike Huckabee. McCain only has 30 seconds, yet he feels he needs to make two jokes. Two jokes.

The first one was kind of clever. “American Idol is like a presidential primary election, except for people who live in Michigan and Florida, their votes actually count.” Okay, not too bad. But chances are that AI fans might have glossed over what that meant.

His plea for help was not warm or very sincere. The person who wrote his ending line to the plea should be fired: “Thank you in advance for all that I’m sure you’ll do.” It sounds bad on paper, but even worse when McCain says it.

His last joke tied in more to American Idol: “As for me, it’s back to work on my new immigration plan. Watch your back, Simon.” However, the two jokes felt like he had never seen the program and was trying to desperately to seem cool, in a grandfather sort of way.

Huckabee could have said the exact same words as McCain did, and it would have been better. But the words were stilted, and it felt like McCain had no idea of what was going on. If the candidates had been live, Obama and Clinton would have done even better and McCain would have done worse.

Whether you thought they should have been on, they were supposed to be there to encourage people to be generous. Obama and Clinton gets As while McCain gets a D+. Yea, McCain, Simon would have ripped you to shreds.

Oh, and one nice surprise. A politician in power was also on last night: British PM Gordon Brown. Brown was on with judge (and fellow Brit) Simon Cowell about eradicating malaria in Africa. The prime minister announced that the country would buy 20 meters bed-nets to protect the people in Africa from malaria. Brown urged other countries to match Britain’s commitment. I suppose it’s easier to be on once you have the job, and you have a specific message on a significant world problem.

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Written by democracysoup

April 11, 2008 at 8:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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