Did Joe the plumber inject John McCain's eyelids with Botox or did Joe leave a wrench on the Senator's chair before last night's debate? Bouncing about in his seat, McCain's eyes remained fixed, Orphan Annie wide, (mercifully without eyeliner) looking at Barack Obama with spoon bending concentration.
When McCain rolled his eyes for dramatic emphasis, raising memories of a pinball machine, it appeared as though the bullet eyes might just pop out of their sockets and land on the table which would have been a first for a Presidential debate, an Annapolis graduate and moderator Bob Schaefer.
"Holy cow, man! Put your eyes back in!"
Then there were the air quotes. Is it Presidential to use air quotes? Is it even imaginable that a President of the United States would address the United Nations and use air quotes? Would anyone keep a neurosurgeon that used air quotes? If the captain of a 747 used air quotes before take off, there would be one passenger making a fast scramble for the exit doors. Only Joe the plumber, mentioned over twenty times by McCain, can get away with air quotes.
On the Bravo channel, Project Runway also had its final episode on the same night as the last debate. Three designers made it to the Bryant Park fashion show with their collection, but there was only one grand prize winner. Sounding more like Joe the plumber, one of the three finalists bitterly referred to her loss as, "Bull....." The winner for this season's Project Runway was a designer named Leanne Marshall. Her work was original, whimsical and wearable. A collection that could almost melt hearts if not spoons.
Scars do not give a presidential candidate a free pass to the White House anymore than being married to an ex-president or mayor of New York on 9/11. The two presidential candidates and the three designers have talent, but it takes a little spark of something more to light the rocket that sends them clear over the top. Lee Ann Marshall had it. Barack Obama has it. Joe the plumber? He'd call it stuff. The right stuff.