Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm Carlos Beltran and I approve this message

Tomorrow we can concentrate on the next most important elections – the Cy Young, Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards.

Can you imagine if the players were allowed to campaign for these things?

Cue the ad….

A black and white photo of Albert Pujols caught with a bad expression with gloom and doom music playing in the background.

“Albert Pujols claims he’s the most valuable player in the league. But where was he when his team was tanking in the last few weeks of the season?”

Then show Ryan Howard looking dejected on the bench.

“Ryan Howard’s Phillies had a shot at the wild card, but fell short when he stopped hitting home runs.”

Then a swooshing sound followed by mocked up newspaper headline slapped at the bottom of the screen: Howard – No leadership.

Then show a nice color photo of Carlos Beltran, maybe even the video of him hitting the homer against the Cardinals in Game One of the NLCS, all while happy, bouncy piano music plays.

Carlos Beltran, right for New York, right for America. Make him your most valuable player

Then a head shot of Beltran from the right side, so the big mole isn’t there.

“I’m Carlos Beltran, and I approve this message.”

Maybe that’s not a good idea, because I’m sick of the attack ads.

I have a love/hate relationship with Election Day.

I’ve been a political junkie since I was a kid. My folks used to allow me to go with them into the voting booth at Hawthorn Elementary and pull the levers, with their direction.

I do the same thing with my kids today. But these new optical scan ballots aren’t as much fun as those huge old machines.

I took my 9-year-old to our balloting place this morning, and there were four round tables set up with cardboard desk dividers where you had to sit down and fill in small ovals with a pen that had a plastic flower taped to it, presumably so you wouldn’t accidentally walk away with it.

“This is like taking the MEAP test in school,” the fourth-grader said as she got busy coloring in the ovals I pointed to.

She made one mistake, and I didn’t want to ask for a new ballot. If Congress swings either way because of one vote in one district in Michigan, you can blame Caroline.

I dropped her off at school after we deposited our ballot in the computer and took our “I voted” stickers, but I think she’s already had the most important lesson of the day.

I vote in every election, even the dull school board contests where people are running unopposed. I think it’s one of the things that make us special as a nation. People have given their lives to preserve this right, and I don’t think there are too many valid excuses for skipping the opportunity.

It’s also true that I’d love to be able to run for something one day. But there are three factors that automatically rule it out.

1) My job. Reporters are supposed to be neutral observers. It’s tough to even keep the appearance of being unbiased it we’re sitting up there on the board or commission. But here’s a little trade secret. Every reporter sits in the audience at these meetings imagining that we could do a better job than the people sitting up there.

2) My politics. I’m too moderate for either party to want me. Which I suppose helps with No. 1. I can understand arguments from both sides.

3) My wife. She says I’m forbidden. I’m even banned from running for a church council after the last experience ended poorly.

So I’m banished to the sidelines. I might be allowed to manage Caroline’s campaign for student council next year. If she lets me. I joked about potential attack ads and she got upset.

Of course, the attack ads are one of the reasons I’m very ready for this day to be over. Michigan has spectacular fall views – if you can see the colors between the political yard signs and billboards.

But I can’t wait to turn on the television tomorrow and not have to endure the endless procession of name-calling, half-truths and untruths. Ever notice that it’s the same man’s voice in all the ads – for both sides? There must be only a handful of companies that produce these dreadful things. Can you imagine the little bitter world of hate those people live in?

Oh, and I'm not even talking about the sportwriters who vote on the MVP and other awards.


jabair said...

dude, i hope you have the answer to this.

why did the democrats not challange the senate seat in Indiana?

I cant figure it out. Leiberman is going to be offered a cabinet position (he was a republican in sheeps clothing anyways) and his vacated seat will be filled by a republican becuase the governer of connecticut is a republican. This will give the republicans 50 seats with cheney being the tie breaker.

How importsnt does that Indiana seat look now?

jabair said...

dude, why are you banished? what happened the last time you ran? fill us in..

inquiring minds want to know and its your duty as a reported, not to hold back facts.

MIke said...

Yeah Dave. Jabair is right. What did happen during the church council run? Any dirty polictics? Attack ads? A late night break in? It's your duty to report the news...

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Guys, My wife is the banisher on the Church Council thing, not the church itself.

Her concern, and it's valid, is that you end up knowing too much about the inner-workings of a church when you are on the council, and that can make worshiping there less enjoyable.

In a nuthshell, I was the council member in charge of youth programs. I had great disagreements with the pastor about the importance of these programs, which high-lighted differences in other areas.

We go to a new church now, and I am still involved in working with kids, even more than before. It's a much better fit for my family.

But I'm not allowed to run for council.

John said...

I am sooo glad the election is over. I am tired of the dirt slinging. Now we can clean up the mess and enjoy cleannness until next election.

Bob said...

Well, I suppose the counter attack-ad from Pujols would be something displaying his World Series ring. The shot leading out of the commercial would be of the dejected Mets dugout after losing in the playoffs. :P

It felt good to write that.