The main thing he succeeded in doing with the speech (besides making it clear that he learned how to pronounce the word "Jakarta" during his boyhood days there) was upstaging the hapless Republican leadership as they unveiled their "Pledge to America," an agenda featuring promises to keep the Bush tax cuts, "freeze spending" except for national security, and somehow (perhaps this is where Christine O'Donnell's witchcraft comes in) reduce the deficit. Oh yes, they also announced their intention to undo the Obama health care reforms on the very day when a number of its most appealing benefits -- allowing children to stay on plans longer, limiting lifetime caps on spending, limiting pre-existing condition exclusions -- came on stream.
To me, the contrast between the two events -- one televised, the other off camera in a Virginia lumberyard -- beautifully depicts the choice confronting Americans this fall. Earnest, articulate, intelligent but not terribly effective or inspiring Democrats vs. bumbling, idea-less, Republicans offering up the very best ideas of the Goldwater for President campaign to solve the problems of 21st century America. I think I'll swear off cable news for a while and escape to the worlds in which I'd rather be living, like those of "Nikita" or "Covert Affairs."
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
David Rothkopf is the CEO and Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy. His new book, "Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government and the Reckoning that Lies Ahead" is due out from Farrar, Straus & Giroux on March 1.