As luck, and poor scheduling, would have it, Barack Obama and John McCain gave their Super Tuesday victory speeches at roughly the same time last night, causing cable news directors across the dial to go split-screen, then finally jump from the tail end of McCain's speech to the first part of Obama's. (Hillary Clinton, her campaign a well-oiled machine, had given her speech earlier in the night, when she had the cameras all to herself.)
Watching Obama and McCain speaking side-by-side, I couldn't help but think to myself: if this is a preview of the general election, bring it on!
Trust me, I'm not predicting. There is far too much voting left -- and super delegate lobbying, and party leader waffling about seating Florida and Michigan delegates - for anyone to be able to pick the Democratic winner.
But it was hard not to savor the powerful contrast that Super Tuesday's split-screen moment offered.
The overlapping oratories could not have been more dramatically different. One soared; the other plodded. One caused goose bumps; the other caused eyelids to flutter shut. One felt newly minted; the other could have been given by Herbert Hoover (and maybe was).
For some reason, I kept picturing a singer like Perry Como standing in the wings during the old Ed Sullivan show, watching the Beatles hit the stage, and thinking: "What do I do now?" or "Oh. My. God." or "The world just changed, didn't it?" or "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
I'll leave it to you to decide which Super Tuesday speech was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and which was pure Perry Como.
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