Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Candidates Ought to Go after Vote of Soccer Dads

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Candidates Ought to Go after Vote of Soccer Dads

Article excerpt

IT IS SUNDAY afternoon as I write this, and I am trying to make up my mind. Should I force myself to watch the presidential debate?

On one hand, there's my job. News R Us. It's important that I stay on top of things. Maybe something newsworthy will happen. As well-rehearsed as the two candidates would be, that seems unlikely. Both candidates have been endlessly drilled on all varieties of questions. They've already practiced their answers. Will either candidate forget his lessons and say something goofy?

Fat chance. But wait, I tell myself. It could happen just like that. What if one of them were to get carried away and dismissively say "fat chance" to the other? In today's hyper-sensitive world, that would be news. "Candidate X insults the 70 percent of the electorate that is overweight." Oh, let's be honest. Scratch the Candidate X thing. If either of them were to forget himself and say "fat chance," it would be Dole. Just like he forgot himself and started talking about the Brooklyn Dodgers a couple of weeks ago. Frankly, I don't know if I could bear to watch that. I like Dole. I admire his generation. It is, after all, my father's generation. I remember the discomfort I felt four years ago in the vice presidential debate when Admiral Stockdale - "Who am I? Why am I here?" - finally gave up and just turned off his hearing aid. With smug Al Gore on one side and pompous Dan Quayle on the other, and both of them pretending they had all the answers, the admiral just pulled the plug. That is something my father might have done. It hurt to watch it. I'm not sure I want to see a replay. Besides, neither candidate is trying to reach me. I'm one of the forgotten people this year. I'm a Soccer Dad. If you've been following the campaign this year, you're probably under the impression that there is no such animal. Everything is Soccer Mom this and Soccer Mom that. It's as if the sidelines at soccer games are lined with mothers. And fathers are, where? Home, maybe, watching a ball game? Sorry, fellows, but that's not my life. In fact, you know where I'm going after I finish this column? A seventh-grade soccer game. …

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