US presedential elections are popularity contests - no this is not an H1B alien sermonizing, I hear it everywhere in this city which by the way is shamelessly democrat to the core. You can hear thi over office coffee machine chats, lunch table talk and even 2 minute break between or before another stupid call. Fox and MSNBC have their own army of partisan shows -one of them Rachel Maddow has a look that could fittingly describe Neena Gupta's angst at never been able to match Smita Patil or for that matter even Shabana Azmi's standards. And she is mad at everything conservative.
With these media dogs (and bitches) barking 24 hours, this election tends to be boring and unidimensional - who needs a truth squads when you have tabloids free on the train platform!
Nevertheless, US being the "oldest" democracy (history before 1776 is a debated topic here in this part of the world) has its nuances that can surprise even a hardore political observer in me.
Case in point is Alfred E Smith Memorial dinner - a tradition which makes both contenders to come on stage and deliver a stand up comedy act with thier object of affection being - themselves!
I caught glimpses of this year's hilarious act - McCain with his Joe the plumber jokes and Obama with this cross dressing Rudy G jokes. Everything said and done - this does make this democracy "great" atleast in relative terms when compared to whats happening around. Only India comes a close second, albeit i am not sure if there is any humour left in our plitical circles at all. There is one beacon of hope - our Railways minister. How i wish we could have television debates - say between Lalu and Advani.