people who need people

In my last post I inadvertently repeated something Freddie had already said, and I may be repeating someone else here, but . . . Is it just an accident that all four of the prez/veep candidates we will be hearing from and about endlessly over the next two months have really unusual and interesting life stories — more so than any prez/veep candidates in recent (or maybe even distant) memory? And that three of the four (I except Biden, perhaps unfairly) seem to be really interesting people?

You could make the argument that this is the first election fully to bear the marks of a reality TV world, of Oprah and Survivor and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. And also the Olympics, at least as presented by NBC. We’re perhaps more accustomed than we ever have been to hearing Fascinating and Dramatic Life Stories, stories filled with Conflict and Tension and Obstacles Overcome, preferably in exotic settings — like, you know, Hawaii, or Alaska, or Vietnam, or Scranton. Biden has the bankrupted father, the upbringing in poverty, the stutter, the horrific accident that killed his wife and daughter; McCain has the . . . well, you know all about that; Obama has the — well, you totally know all about that; and now here comes Sarah Palin, just your typical snowmobile-racing, moose-hunting, basketball-playing, beauty-contest-entering-and-almost-winning member of the NRA and Feminists for Life with five kids, one of whom has Down’s syndrome. Other forms of reality TV will never catch up. Looks like the political is the personal — maybe from here on out.

That would be a rash and probably frivolous argument, and I’m not going to make it, but you could. If you wanted to.