Connect with us

Thai Life

Land of smiles: Recapping the conventions

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Land of smiles: Recapping the conventions | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: Here are some highlights of the recent US political conventions for readers who may have missed them on TV:

The main thrust of the Republican convention was to emphasize Mitt Romney’s warm humanity. Mitt reminds people of one of those wooden statues of American Indians that used to stand outside cigar stores. To humanize him, they brought out his wife Ann, a warm and vivacious woman who stole the show. Many viewers must have wondered why they didn’t nominate Ann, and send Mitt back to stand outside a cigar store.

Mitt gave a speech that revealed his warm humanity. He reminisced that his father used to give his mother a fresh rose every morning. He neglected to tell us whether he had ever given Ann so much as a dandelion.

CNN political guru David Gergen opined that Mitt evoked Norman Rockwell America. That could be a problem for Mitt. Norman Rockwell was a popular artist who portrayed an idealized version of small-town America around the 1940s. Rockwell is dead. His America may also be dead. And there are no cigar stores left.

Mitt missed a bet by not bringing out one of his ‘house slaves’ to testify to his warm humanity. “Mr. Mitt is so sensitive to our feelings,” the slave might have emoted. “Why, when they take us outside to flog us, Mr. Mitt can’t bear to watch. He stays inside to re-itemize his tax deductions and keeps the door closed to shut out our screams.”

The Republicans suffered a major disaster when they let revered movie icon Clint Eastwood give a rambling, quavering speech to an empty chair. I’ve been a big fan of Clint ever since the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s, and it nearly killed me to see this shambling old guy, now white-haired, wrinkled, and 82, unwittingly torpedo his own legacy. They should never let you speak in public after you’re 65.

The Democratic convention was much livelier than the Republican one. Bill Clinton gave the best speech of both conventions: “We say, ‘We’re all in this together.’ The Republicans say, ‘You’re on your own.'” Even Obama couldn’t top that. Unfortunately Bill’s speech was too long (it always is), at 48 minutes. If you can’t say it in 20 minutes, you’re not doing your job.

Obama didn’t need to emphasize his warm humanity, but he did anyway. He affirmed that he tried to be home for dinner every night at 6:30 to help his daughters with their homework. That made me wonder. Wouldn’t the country be better off if he let Michelle handle the homework while he stayed in the Oval Office burning the midnight oil and struggling to reduce the deficit?

Both conventions were marred by American jingoism, with delegates chanting “USA all the way” and the usual gush about the greatest nation on Earth. But if you didn’t take it too seriously, it was a lot of fun. Primates acting like primates. Just like a circus.

Ye Olde Curmudgeon, who plans to vote for George Washington, can be scolded for his cynicism c/o

— Ye Olde Curmudgeon

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Things that have changed in Thailand in the Covid Era | Top 10 | VIDEO

The Thaiger



Things that have changed in Thailand in the Covid Era | Top 10 | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Top 10 things that have changed in Thailand during the Covid-era Things have changed. In some cases they’ve changed a lot and may never be the same again. Many people are suffering as a result of the impacts of lockdowns and the border closures. Some people are being forced to re-invent their lives as a result. Here are some of the main things we believe have changed since January this year. Face Masks The now every-present face mask is now with us for a long time. In Asia, it was never uncommon to see people wearing face masks, for traffic, […]

Continue Reading


Riding and renting a motorbike in Thailand | Top 10 tips | VIDEO

The Thaiger



Riding and renting a motorbike in Thailand | Top 10 tips | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Motorbikes and scooters are the most popular mode of transport in Thailand, and most of south east Asia. In many cases, they’re the ‘engine’ for the local economies. Most of them just go and go and go, they’re astonishingly reliable. Getting around on a motorbike is easy enough and will get you to your destination faster, whilst the cars and trucks are plodding along in the traffic. But riding a motorbike in Thailand can also be very dangerous. If you stick to the common sense basics – ride within the speed limits, wear a bike helmet, obey the traffic rules […]

Continue Reading


Khao San Road to reopen for Halloween

Caitlin Ashworth



Khao San Road to reopen for Halloween | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: The Club Khaosan

The party is coming back to Khao San Road this Halloween. The once booming backpacker district went through a renovation during the lockdown period and now the Bangkok governor says they’re ready to reopen the street. Khao San Road has long been a district frequented by foreign backpackers. It’s known for it’s grungy and lively bar scene as well as its eccentric mix of street food, like scorpion on a stick. During the lockdown, 48.4 million baht was put into the streets for major renovations like leveling out the road and footpaths, adding some gutters and designating space for emergency […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email: