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For those who REALLY hate football ...

CNN, understandably, crowed about the ratings it garnered for the Thursday night faceoff between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- more than 8.3 million viewers checked it out, the best showing during this campaign for a debate broadcast on a cable network.

But here's the number we're going to really want to know: Viewership for its rerun of the debate this evening, starting at 5 p.m. (PST). At that point, the Super Bowl game will have been underway for about 90 minutes.

Maybe CNN executives will catch a break -- like the undefeated New England Patriots quickly taking a big lead over the New York Giants, causing at least some folks to start twisting their TV dials for alternative programming.

At the least, the debate's early part should coincide with the Super Bowl halftime show. So those wanting to tune out the on-field extravaganza can tune in to the back-and-forth between Obama and Clinton over their healthcare plans!

For true political junkies with no interest in The Big Game, CNN also is rebroadcasting, starting at 3 p.m. (PST), the Republican debate it aired Wednesday night.

Of course, savvy non-football fans know that when the Super Bowl is on, it's not a time to stay home; it's a time to go see a hit movie and have a good shot at getting decent seats.

-- Don Frederick

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Doesn't the Neilson ratings symbolize what the American society has become? Perhaps if the reputations of politicians were more "sincere", "down-to-earth" and "blue-collared", you'll likely see a change in the ratings, which means a growing number of Americans actually cared!

Two examples;

Barbara Streisand; Albeit, an entertainer, but an influencial vocal activist in her liberal political thought. Years ago, she was championing the issue of the homeless. She had her own theories and "entertained" solutions of what should be done. In doing so, one had to understand that she owned a mansion with numerous rooms. Did she or "would" she invite any homeless to spend the night or even opening part of her home as a homeless shelter?

Jesse Jackson; championing the rainbow coalition, would or did the Reverand Jackson ever enroll his children in a public school where the majority of the students would identify being a part of the "rainbow coalition"?

Hillary Clinton; championing health care, would she herself purchase affordable insurance and opt to see an HMO physician?

If someday, the average American can answer a "yes" to all these trivial examples, then you may see an increase in the ratings. However, you know what the answer to all these questions are likely to be.

These three examples are the heart of the matter to Americans who are not political "junkies". So, why does it frustrate those who analyze the political closely when comparing the ratings between a Super Bowl and a political debate? American hearts are won by example, and not by doctorate degree political rhetoric.

Get a clue!

Please, pitting a political debate against a Super Bowl? Is CNN wondering or fearful of the results in the ratings and why Americans see the latter as more important? Here's why. Similarly, you have two teams vying for the Super Bowl trophy and two candidates vying for the coveted presidential office. The difference? The two football teams showcase the hard-work, blood, sweat and tears and the INTEGRITY, yearly and through-out the season, that goes into playing the sport. The viewer knows first hand and sees the athletes' "ability" to excel.

However, when one views a debate, one is impressed by the passionate words that come with campaigning, BUT, often has to internally battle if what they actually stand for is true. Most generalize a presidential candidate as simply a politician and their "lack of integrity" that is attributed to their profession and their "ability" to excel is only showcased by seeking the "availability" of voters during an election time.

The mayor of Los Angeles is a perfect example of lack of integrity. Tall, dark and handsome, eloquent in his dialogue and of course, the city was naturally captivated. He wanted change in the beleaguered and large school district. I was impressed because "any" change towards the structure of the LAUSD would have been for the better. In addition, his "ex-wife" was a veteran teacher and enhanced his "passion" for change within the educational system.

Given the series of events that has since occurred from the "peak" of popularity in the southland, do you think the average Angelino would believe his agenda should he run for governer or the senate? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard it before, "one should separate ones personal life from his professional life." You forget, this is AMERICA and even in during national, state and local elections a few politicians use their opponent's personal lives as a negative to boost their pwn campaigns!

As one valley girl used to say "gag me with a spoon!"

For heavens sake CNN, when the Americans watch "any" sporting event final, they, scream, yell, jump and down and are ecstatic or disappointed that the BETTER team WON. During the presidential campaigns, it is the politicians who scream, yell, jump up and down and the American people have to vote and neither are ecstatic nor disappointed , when choosing the the LESSER of two "EVILS". Get a grip!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



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