Bashful in Nashville

You’d think that the two remaining presidential-division heavyweights squaring off on national TV would produce a modicum of action. You know, a knockdown, a busted nose; maybe a rabbit punch to the back of the head or a chunk of an ear spit through the ropes into Tom Brokaw’s lap. Something. You’d think. But you’d be as wrong as fried foie gras with truffle butter on a hot dog bun. Float like an elephant. Sting like an ox.

The number one-ranked contenders failed to even rise to the tepid level of their handlers’ lowered expectations this week as they spent most of their second face-to-face showdown locked into a permanent clinch, slavishly following some dubious locker room advice which apparently consisted of “be limper than steroid-ed genitalia.” It was a strategy designed to NOT LOSE and indeed the evening’s biggest saps were the poor wretches ringside whose best use of their valuable ticket stubs was scraping them across their forearms to maintain wakefulness.

Weighing in at 185 pounds and wearing the blue tie, standing six feet one inches tall, the long lean fighting machine from Chicago, Illinois, Barackkk “Change You Can Believe In” Obaaamaaaa, bobbed and weaved and threw a couple of snapping jabs, but his repertoire was strangely bereft of the patented head rattling straight lefts he’s become known for, and his overall performance appeared workmanlike rather than the transcendent his legion of fans are used to.

And in the red tie, from the high deserts of Arizona, weighing in at 175 pounds, standing five feet seven inches tall, the crusty but not so benign, Johnnn “The Maverick” McCaaainnn, acquitted himself well early, until docked a couple of points on a punch below the belt when he referred to his opponent as “that one.” About two inches above a “you people” which undoubtedly would have resulted in a judges’ DQ and possible suspension.

Distressingly, neither one of these two veteran pugilists broke a visible sweat spending the bulk of the fight trading highlights from their stump speeches turning the middle rounds into a soul-sappingly boring exercise of predictable back-and-forth blah blah blah. Barack’s reflexes seemed a bit dulled, perhaps suffering from a training regimen that concentrated too much on the back half of the Rope-A-Dope.

We were lumbering towards a split decision when the exhausted McCain, who may have been suckered into thinking the fisticuffs had ended two rounds earlier, pulled out Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and proceeded to get hit upside the head with it. Later, his haymaker about hair plugs fell short, and he groped about the stage, his face swollen from the punishment he had absorbed, although many observers assured us that’s just the way he looks.

Obama was declared the winner on a split decision, and McCain’s light at the end of the tunnel is fast turning into a dying match seen through a keyhole stuffed with hand tape. Maybe the fight went on too long or the Arizona Battler is over the age limit to seriously engage in the Sweet Science anymore, but no one in his corner is talking about throwing in the towel. Though it was generally conceded that McCain had to win this one and he didn’t, there still is one bout left. Which means, if I were the Bad Boy from Illinois, in our final confrontation Wednesday in New York, I’d check McCain’s gloves for foreign substances and use my famous footwork to keep far far away from his teeth.

 

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