There was an old wrestling announcer in the 1990s and 2000s for the WWF/WWE named Jim Ross, and JR was the best at what he did. He had the enthusiasm, the wrestling knowledge, but most of all, he was so good at selling shock when something “unexpected” happened.
For example, often when a wrestler was getting ganged up on or in an otherwise perilous situation, another star grappler from the back would run down to “save” them, and we knew this because as soon as the hero rescuer’s into music would hit, ole’ JR would screech “My God, that’s the Rock’s music!” and all chaos would ensue in the arena.
Well by golly, I thought of ole’ JR Saturday night, when it was announced that the former vice-president of the United States, who in three tries running for President had never won a primary or caucus, finally won one, in South Carolina.
“By Gawd, that’s Joe Biden’s music!”
Yep, the man from Delaware finally won one, and we’ve officially got a battle for the Democratic nomination now. Biden crushed Bernie Sanders, 48 percent to 20, garnering wide swaths of support from African-Americans, and people young and old.
So Biden has a pulse now, and I’m not sure how many victories his win translates into on Super Tuesday, but he certainly has, finally, presented himself as a legit alternative to Bernie.
Super Tuesday arrives so quickly after South Carolina that I’m not sure this slows Bernie’s momentum down that much, but it certainly gives cover to the frightened moderate Dems afraid of Bernie (and while I think their hysterical panic of him winning the nomination is highly overblown, it is real to them).
Some other thoughts on the South Carolina primary, and what lies ahead:
— I spent some hours Saturday phone-banking for Elizabeth Warren at a stranger’s house with my Mom and about 15 others. We called South Carolina voters (which I think was a silly idea, S.C. was gone for her, we should’ve been calling Super Tuesday states, but the campaign told us to call S.C. and those are the phone numbers we were sent) and got the normal collection of hang-ups, wrong numbers, and very occasional human being who told us who they were voting for.
It was exciting and depressing at the same time, because we know our candidate is pretty much cooked. I will always, always believe Elizabeth Warren is the smartest and most qualified candidate who ran for President, and I will always be puzzled how her lead in the autumn vanished so quickly.
I want Senator Warren to stay in the race as long as possible, to keep speaking passionately, and compassionately, to the voters listening. But yeah, I’ve accepted she’s not going to be President. Dammit.
— Amy Klobuchar, thanks for playing. Tom Steyer, I have no Earthly idea why you ran for President other than you had $250 million burning a hole in your pocket. What an absolute waste.
— Finally this week Michael Bloomberg appears on some ballots, and it’ll be interesting to see if his Titanic-like debate performances slowed his momentum. God I really hope it did.
— Finally, a few words about Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who announced Sunday he was dropping out of the race.
I was initially very excited and very interested about possibly supporting this 37-year-old mayor of a small Indiana town, who seem to come out of nowhere. He had so many appealing qualities: he was brilliant, he seemed compassionate, he was a veteran of war, and he spoke in beautiful, inspiring language.
As time went on and I examined his policies and politics a little closer, I discovered he wasn’t my cup of tea. Not progressive enough, I didn’t like some of the ideas he had, and he came off quite smug and smarmy in the debates.
But like I said in a post recently, you have to admire that a 37-year-old gay white guy was mayor of a small Indiana town won the Iowa caucus and nearly won New Hampshire. That’s incredibly impressive.
Pete Buttigieg will be back, and he’ll go on to do great things, that I have no doubt.
**Next up today, “Saturday Night Live” did a great song parody/sketch the other night about LaGuardia Airport, and the sheer awfulness of the place.
I have written about how I am convinced it’s the worst airport in America, by far, and how the years-long renovations going on right now there must, must make it better.
All of the jokes in this sketch ring true, by the way. And the famous guest stars in the sketch are perfect.
**Finally today, you know what we all need a little of on a cold Monday in March? A little kick-ass gymnastics energy, that’s what.
I got fired up watching Nia Dennis of UCLA put on this fantastic routine last week; just wow, wow, and wow. One of my favorite things about these college gymnastics videos that go viral (this one has more than 7 million views already) is watching the gymnast’s teammates go nuts in excitement, doing the star’s routine with her and just exuding so much joy.
This is just awesome. Watch this and go take on the world, dear readers.