April 16, 2007

"I was for it before I was against it."

Did you see John Kerry on "The Colbert Report"? I thought he was decently amusing when Stephen Colbert asked him about his position on the environment. Sure, it was scripted -- "I was for it before I was against it" -- but self-deprecation is good. Especially for Kerry.


JimM47 said...

I wish the show would come onto iTunes earlier. Oh well, time to pirate it while I wait for my subscription to snag it from Apple's servers.

lurker2209 said...

It's not wrong to steal something you paid for, right?

B said...

I admit that I am a sucker for politicians willing to be self-deprecating. I even feel a little better about John Kerry after his appearance on Colbert.

True humorous self-deprecation is the willingness to make fun of something that everyone else is already making fun of, showing that the politician "gets it". Too often, the politico tries something that seems insincere and comes across as trying too hard (see everything else Kerry has done before this). It then gives you that kind of lame feeling, like when someone replies to the classic interview question - "Tell me about your biggest weakness" - with a "positive" negative answer, like "I would say that sometimes I'm too impatient, expecting everyone to perform at a high level and get the job done well and on time." It feels too smarmy.

Of course, Reagan was the master of the self-deprecating comment.

Jesse Jackson - a man whose name I loathe seeing or hearing in almost any political arena - gets props from me for his Green Eggs and Ham reading on Saturday Night Live (Sept 1991). He understood that his constant rhyming - which actually is a positive in his public speaking - was widely made fun of. He gets it.

Other examples for me, of people I oppose politically but gained a notch in my respect for their being a good sport:

Janet Reno: Again, Saturday Night Live 2001 - Janet Reno's Dance Party.

Bill Clinton: various Correspondents' dinners, showing that he gets it.

Dennis Kucinch: various TV interviews

Politicans that currently don't "get it":

Barak Obama
Tom Delay

TMink said...

Getting it is indeed good. Fixing it is even better.