The title of John Cassidy's column in the New Yorker is "Rational Irrationality" but after reading the reason he gives for Barack Obama ditching his outdoor stadium speech at the Democrat convention in Charlotte, NC, I think it would be safe to ditch the "Rational" part of the column title.
One of the big reasons why Cassidy pretty much comes off as completely irrational was his explanation as to why Team Obama really moved the convention speech from the 75,000 seat outdoor stadium to the much smaller indoor venue. At first Cassity does seem a bit rational in his Six Unanswered Questions From Charlotte, which is also notable for his complete lack of curiousity about the "two-thirds" platform voice vote, since he admits what most of us already knew---that the excuse of poor weather was bogus. However, he provides an "answer" so off the wall as to be a real howler:
What was the real reason for Obama’s speech being moved indoors to the Time Warner Cable Arena? The official explanation was the weather, but Thursday turned out to be, for the most part, bright and sunny. Republicans claim that the Democrats were having trouble filling a seventy-thousand-seat outdoor stadium. My suspicion, based on nothing but tactical logic, is that Obama and his advisors decided a grand stadium appearance would make it difficult to portray the President as humble but resolute, his sleeves rolled up.
We have to give Cassidy credit for originality. Absolutely nobody else came up with that hilarious excuse. Cassidy also provides more laughs in the form of head scratching over why Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was a convention no-show:
Where was Tim Geithner? Given the dominant role that the economy has played in Obama’s first term, the youthful Treasury Secretary is undoubtedly the most consequential figure in the administration after the President, but he’s also turned into its invisible man. What a waste of all that television training he got on taking the job.
Do you really have to ask why Geithner didn't make an appearance at the convention, John? I'll give you a clue: it might have to do with the fact that he would have been an unwelcome reminder about the miserable state of the American economy.
Cassidy had four other questions about the Chalotte convention but amazingly he had nothing to ask about the most notable and unscripted event that took place there: the denial of God three times along with the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Did Cassidy really have no curiousity at all about if the proposal to include both in the Democrat platform really carried by a two-thirds voice vote? Also does he really believe that Obama was unaware of their exclusion from the Democrat platform?
I am hoping that Cassidy can answer those last questions. He will be graded both on the originality and comedy of his answers. And judging from his explanation of why Obama moved his speech venue, I am expecting great things from John.