Driving home from office today, I listened to someone making a fool of himself and, I must admit, I took some vicarious pleasure in it. The person was Ed Shultz, an American radio talk show host, whose show I’ve been tuning into for the past two weeks every evening as I drive home from office. I had just read of Hillary winning in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island on the web before closing down for the day when I switched on my car radio and there was good ole Ed going on and on about how Obama would win Texas and Ohio, giving a thousand and one reasons. I don’t remember his exact words, but I clearly remember him saying he would ‘eat a thousand crows’ if Obama lost in these states. Obviously, the ‘live’ show I’ve been tuned into for the past two weeks is a recorded one. But, I must admit, Ed working himself up into a nice lather berating the Clinton campaign brought a whole new perspective to sayings like some people ‘tying their own noose’ or ‘putting one’s foot into one’s mouth’.
Listening to someone ‘predicting’ the (opposite) outcome of something when that someone is the only one who doesn’t know the outcome was a strange, eerie experience. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s show and hearing how he will justify his confident ‘predictions’. Though I doubt he’ll be able to talk properly if he goes through with his promise to eat a thousand crows if Obama lost in these states! But I think I already know what he’ll say. One point he will be driving again and again is how Obama is eventually going to win the nomination anyway because the math just isn’t right for Hillary.
But, whatever his fault, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ed these past few days. His confidence in and obvious admiration (bordering on hero-worship) for Obama, which he doesn’t hide at all, is itself admirable. Makes me wish I had an admirer like that 🙂 – though it would be a bit scary. From his show I’ve learned the difference between a ‘Clintonite’ and a ‘Clintonista’. The former is a loyal and faithful follower and believer in all that Hillary stands for and who would vote for her, no matter what, but still someone you can reason with. The latter, on the other hand, is an extremist version – a rabid and obsessive follower unwilling to even listen to anything remotely critical of Hillary and willing to practically kill anyone saying as much as a word against her. In other words, if the equivalent terms existed in the Obama camp, Ed would be an ‘Obamista’.
But whatever happens and whoever ultimately wins, it looks like I’m stuck with Ed till Election Day dawns in America for the simple reason that his show is the only English station I can catch on my car radio. Not that I’m against Obama or for him nor, for that matter, for or against Hillary or McCain or whoever. But I think I’ve become addicted to this fast-talkin’ dude who’s ever ready to take on any and all Clintonistas in the great tamasha that is the American Election. I just love the way he spars with his callers and mockingly puts down ‘Clintonista’ callers while at the same time fully agreeing with and prodding on his fellow ‘Obamista’ callers. I must also confess that the opening guitar riffs of Guns N Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine” that open his show is as big a reason as any to look forward to 6pm every day. That, and the end of another day in office.
Tokyo 5 March 2008