The Pre-Debate & After-Debate (Politics)

All the FB friends are dissecting this bit and that bit and sending up the memes about the debate last night between Obama and Romney about foreign policy, but we all know that the debate itself was so-so  in terms of substance.  My  favorite moments of the evening are two. They have more to do with “form” than with “content.” The first was the one-minute countdown on C-Span with moderator Bob Schiefer sitting alone at his desk before the candidates came out.  I liked the open space, a “space of appearance,” upon which, contrary to Arendt, nothing really surprising happened. The other was after the debate when the Romney family swarmed the stage, everybody made nice, joked, and chatted. The smiles struck me as warm and genuine. Obviously, the candidates have much more in common with each other than with any of us, which I think is interesting. Obama spent a lot of time chatting up the Romney grandkids, one of whom  looked thrilled to meet the President. This too is “political.”

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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