* Presidential candidates have always needed outlets to the public–beyond ads–for their messages. That typically means rallies and interviews–both print and television. But dating back to JFK going on the “Tonight Show” with Jack Paar and Richard Nixon with Steve Allen, it also means non-traditional forums. One such is the HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a liberal-oriented combination of political satire, commentary and crude humor. Context matters for those with image priorities, but a wider audience is always appealing.
Pete Buttigieg recently put in an appearance with Maher a couple of days before the Iowa caucus. He did it via video–so the optics of a comedian’s show weren’t an issue and he deftly pivoted from a couple of friendly-fire questions–such as Mayor Pete’s poor polling among black voters–to broader themes. He sounded, as always, smart and eloquent, regardless of venue.
* It’s not often that palindrome turns up in the news cycle, but there it was recently because last Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, was a prime–and rare–example. A palindrome, as you might know, is a sequence that reads the same forward as it does backward: hence, 02/02/2020. And that, of course, got me thinking about some other palindromes. Here’s what came to mind: “Madam, I’m Adam” and “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.” And just to be cute: “Able was I, ‘ere I saw Elba.”