Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ABC-TV: Final Debate - McCain, Obama, and Joe the Plumber

Monique Ozanne

He has given a visual to the term 'overnight celebrity'. Just days after ABC traveled to Holland, Ohio to follow Obama as he talked to local residents, Joe the Plumber, more correctly known as Sam Joe Wurzelbacher, became the focal point of the last presidential debate.

I take special interest in the Joe story because I remember watching the conversation on ABC last week as they traveled through Ohio. I remember seeing Obama talk with this man who expressed his uncertainty about Obama's campaign. At the time I did not think too much of the interview, except that this man was the only interviewee to question Obama and express his concern about what Obama's possible presidency would do for him.

Within days this man went from an interview to an important topic in the final debate. October surprise? Probably not. But Joe the plumber being mentioned 23 times during the debate did come as a surprise to many viewers and journalists. Following the debate ABC's Diane Sawyer brought Joe back into the spotlight to interview him about his reaction to being such a hot topic.

During his interview with Sawyer, Wurzelbacher did not reveal who he was going to vote for, but encouraged people to remain educated and listen during these remaining few weeks. As far as being known as Joe the Plumber, Wurzelbacher said that his son was into the title, and he himself thought it was kind of neat.

Colin Powell Endorses Obama
On Sunday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president during his appearance on Meet the Press.

Powell sees Obama as a transformational figure and new generation. Powell is concerned about McCain's choice of Sara Palin for VP, and said over the past few weeks he has seen that she is not ready to be Vice President. He said over the past weeks watching Obama, he has seen excitement and vigor, and sees Biden as a vice president that is ready to serve in office on day one.

Powell also criticized McCain for his ads, and sees the negative campaigning addressing problems that are not central to the American people, and becoming too narrow. It was obvious Powell thought out and had prepared his reasons for endorsing Obama. On the issue of race, Powell also expressed how upset he was to see the attacks on Obama stemming from the Ayers scandal, and the claims of Obama being a Muslim. Powell defends Obama by saying he is and has always been a Christian, but what would be the problem if he was in fact a Muslim. Powell later goes on to answer the question of race in choosing Obama as his endorsement, and defends himself by saying that if he were choosing Obama solely based on race, he would have made his decision six to eight months ago.

Two Weeks and Counting...
With exactly two weeks left until the election, my thoughts are filled with stress and emotion. I find myself staying up late into the night reading articles that are published hourly about what the candidates are doing and where they are. I continue to keep track of the updates on the latest scandals and claims made against each party. The closer November 4 gets, the hungrier I get for information and my excitement grows. But then I turn on my TV, and see negative ads and find myself once again frustrated and disappointed, and think that all the reading and researching I have done is a waste. No matter how much we try to educate ourselves and rise above the negativity, something will find us and try to bring us down. So today, and hopefully for the next two weeks, I will take Joe's advice and just listen, remain educated, and keep my head above the sewage.

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