Sunday, October 4, 2015

The presidential race hinges on ... TV shows?

First 'Sesame Street', now 'Friday Night Lights'

The presidential race hinges on … TV shows?

Romney touches up on the bus with Christie
Romney touches up on the bus with Christie


Forget the federal deficit and tensions in the Middle East. The presidential race has found an issue it would clearly rather focus on: TV characters.

Let’s get down to what this election is really about: the Dillon Panthers and Mr. Snuffleupagus. The latest tempest about the tube boiled up yesterday when Mitt Romney began appropriating the Zen rallying cry from NBC’s high school football drama Friday Night Lights: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

Above you can see a picture from Twitter of Romney leaving his campaign bus in Ohio, followed by pulling guard Chris Christie, touching the slogan for luck, as players do before heading out on the field.

Salt Lake City, we have a problem: Romney keeps getting the phrase slightly wrong. Over and over, he misstates it as “Clear eyes, full heart.” You can hear him do it again in this stump speech yesterday talking about a boy afflicted with cancer.


Ridiculously petty, right? So he doesn’t pluralize heart. Big deal. Especially given the fact that Buzz Bissinger, a former Inquirer sports writer who authored the original Friday Night Lights book, endorsed Romney this week in a statement in which he identified himself as, heretofore, a lifelong Democrat.

Romney bashers say that it speaks to the candidate’s inauthenticity, his willingness to bandy about pop culture references when he has no idea what he is talking about. Like his curious shoutout to Snooki while on The View.

The Friday Night Lights furor follows closely on the tail feathers of the Big Bird flap.

After Romney said in the first debate that he would cut subsidies to PBS, despite a fondness for the yellow giant, the Obama camp responded with this ad suggesting that perhaps the former governor’s priorities were askew.

Clever, yeah. But with the world facing so many dire crises simultaneously, should we really be using the election as a forum to talk about puppets?

The Childrens’ Television Workshop quickly issued a statement requesting that their characters not be used in any political ads…for either party. What do you think this is...Switzerland?

Inquirer TV Critic
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David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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