The controversy over whether the President was wired during the first debate certainly adds an interesting wrinkle to my September 3 post speculating the President could be the collective avatar of the citizenry, i.e. in this case he would be the collectively operated avatar of a small group of individuals in the back room. Presumably, as the debate started to go badly for Bush there was some kind of scuffling for control of the microphone in the back room leading to "lag" on the part of the President as avatar. In any event, despite the poor showing in the debate, the President as of October 15 is leading quite substantially in the polls (about 5 points) so maybe this President as avatar approach is the way to go. It could be billed as man v. cyborg. Maybe the Bush team picked it up from one of the Terminator movies?
Speaking of which, in my September 1 post, after seeing Arnie label opponents of huge deficits as "girlie-men", I suggested IMHO that maybe there should be an actor-spokesperson who played characters that were used to operating on a "pay as you go" or cash basis, e.g. Tony Soprano. I don't know if the Kerry team read my blog and decided to use a modified version of this analogy in the second debate where Kerry compared being lectured on fiscal responsibility by Bush to being lectured on law and order by Tony Soprano. However, it would have been much more effective if my version had been used instead. Kerry had a good sound bite, but I think it just ended up irritating those in middle America who have great respect for the Office of the President, if not the occupier. Contrasting Arnie's Terminator to Tony Soprano on economic matters merely illustrates how ridiculous it is to allow characters from movies and television shows to become so central to important issues of state, and would have undercut the President's policies without insulting the Office itself, the way Kerry did. After all, who is leading in the polls now?