This is coolbert:
James Stockdale, Admiral USN, was chosen as the running mate by Ross Perot during the 1992 Presidential campaign. Would have been Vice-President if Perot had won!
Stockdale did participate in the Vice-Presidential debate with Al Gore and Dan Quayle. A televised debate that did not go favorably for Stockdale. A somewhat negative impression was created of the Admiral.
"Stockdale infamously opened the debate by saying, 'Who am I? Why am I here?' Initially, the rhetorical questions drew applause from the audience, seeming to be a good-natured acknowledgment of his relatively unknown status and lack of traditional qualifications."
NO! WAS NOT "applause [and a] good-natured acknowledgment"!! I recall this all very well, having watched the "debate"!
My instantaneous and intuitive impression was that the applause and "cheering" [accompanied by some laughter] WAS DERISIVE IN NATURE!! The initial statement of the Admiral being received by the audience very poorly, the "applause" and "cheering" being anything but that!!
And, again, my "instantaneous and intuitive" reaction to the response of the audience was more or less, "those damn fools [the audience], do they have any idea at all of what this man is all about??" Instead of receiving a sustained standing ovation from the audience, all the Admiral got was "raspberries"??
[those so-called debates are not really debates as the word is generally understood. Presidential election candidates, when appearing on TV, are more or less TRAINED SEALS, MERELY REPEATING A CAREFULLY CHOREOGRAPHED SCRIPT, RECITING WHAT SOMEONE HAS REHEARSED THEM TO SAY!! Actors acting a role is perhaps the best description.]
"his unfocused style for the rest of the debate (including asking the moderator to repeat one question because he didn't have his hearing aid turned on) made him appear confused and almost disoriented."
[This] "cemented a public perception of Stockdale as":
* "elderly and confused"
The man was anything but slow-witted and confused, but that is what the public perception was. UNFORTUNATELY SO!!
"it is not so much reality that counts, as the perception of reality that counts!!" - - J. Jackson.
The perception as held by the general public is baloney. Stockdale was by any measure of intellect, courage, character, accomplishments, etc., SO MUCH ABOVE THOSE TWO BOZO CLOWNS GORE AND QUAYLE THAT THERE IS NO COMPARISON AT ALL!! Gore and Quayle combined were NOTHING compared to James Stockdale
One man - - at least - - came to the defense of James Stockdale. Much to his credit too!
"comedian Dennis Miller vehemently defended Stockdale's reputation:
'Now I know (Stockdale's name has) become a buzzword in this culture for doddering old man, but let's look at the record, folks. The guy was the first guy in and the last guy out of Vietnam . . . He teaches philosophy at Stanford University, he's a brilliant, sensitive, courageous man. And yet he committed the one unpardonable sin in our culture: he was bad on television.'"
There, in a nutshell, you have it!! THE MAN LOOKED BAD ON TV! Nothing more, nothing less than that. Everything that went before that in the life of James Stockdale, in the eyes of the TV audience, counts as a NOTHING!! And once the horses are out of the barn, there ain't no getting em' back!!
Too bad for the debate, the election, the nation, and the MAN HIMSELF!!