Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Pop History Moment: The Election of Barack Obama


It was a hard-fought campaign, filled with the kind of lies and outrageous pandering to the lowest common denominator we've come to expect from the Republican Party, but also with a charismatic candidate the Democrats can only seem to muster up occasionally (although, not often enough for the liking of the Pop Culture Institute).

We knew going in it would be an historic campaign - from early on it was clear the Democrats were either going to field a black man or a woman - but for weeks now those in the punditocracy have been likening this one to the 1960 Presidential campaign, which pitted Senator John F. Kennedy against Vice President Richard Nixon, for the way it has gripped the zeitgeist not just in the United States but around the world.

Now it's official... Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, has handily defeated the senior senator from Arizona, John McCain; the brief bump in the polls McCain got from selecting as his running mate Alaska governor Sarah Palin appears to have backfired on him, whereas Obama's selection of Joe Biden seems to have sufficiently quelled fears of Obama's lack of experience for the majority of American voters.
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The 2008 Vice-Presidential Debate (According To "Saturday Night Live")

So, I've been pretty mum on politics this election season, at least since the primaries got underway in January; anyway, I figured Election Day was the ideal time to break my silence, by posting my favourite bit of comedy from the entire campaign - a spot-on parody from Saturday Night Live of the 2008 vice-presidential debate; the debate was held at Washington University in St. Louis, and was itself the most watched vice-presidential debate in history with more than 70 million viewers.

It stars, of course, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden, and Queen Latifah as moderator Gwen Ifill...

SNL's parodies of Sarah Palin have been just about the only things that have gotten me through the muck and slime of the current campaign; judging by how quickly they've each gone viral, I'd guess I'm not alone in that. Fey has gone on record as saying she hopes to be done playing Sarah Palin on November 5th, so I say bravo to her for making the most of this unique opportunity and stepping into the spotlight for the sake of pop culture.
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