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McCain and Obama Town Hall Debate: The Pulse of Politics


     I handed my husband his digital blood pressure monitor as John McCain and Barack Obama sparred on our television screen.  No, I wasn’t worried about David busting a blood vessel over political rhetoric.  Last month he had undergone cardiac bypass surgery and it was time to measure his vital signs.  I nudged his dinner plate aside on our round rattan table.

     Tom Brokaw delivered the next question to the two candidates.  As most of the other selected questions tonight, this one had a predictable feel.  The responses sounded scripted.  How disappointing.  I wanted to learn something more about Obama and McCain, about how their minds worked.

     Minds.  For two weeks, the possibility of losing David--the “hero” in my life--had gnawed at my mind and stomach with the rat teeth of fear.  The hum of the blood pressure meter had become all too familiar.  The death rate was one per person.  Eventually, tragedy hit all lives.  I glanced at the television screen.  So how would McCain or Obama function in the face of simultaneous sudden personal loss and national disaster?  If either lost a loved one on the same day the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged to 5,000, could he cope?  Become the “hero” our nation would require?

     I recorded David’s vital signs.  Blood pressure too low.  Pulse rate too high.  He’d been having atrial fibrillation.  His heart’s auricles had shimmied around instead of delivering the full contracted shipment of life blood to his ventricles.  A medical analogy for routine governmental operations?

     The thump of a tail joined the candidates’ vocal beat.  Our hundred-pound pooch implored with wistful eyes.  No mistaking that expression.  I set my dinner plate, now containing his evening treat, on the kitchen floor.  McCain and Obama tossed out some dubious financial “facts.”  If only a meter could measure the pulse of politics, display the truth of all politicians’ claims.  My published book, Heroes Arise, had been classified as science fiction/fantasy, but I preferred to base my votes on pure reality.