Eugene Cho

must see funny videos of the next president of the united states

I am proud to be an American.  I am excited that Minhee will vote in the presidential election for the very first time.  And I am grateful that our children are U.S. citizens; we’ve enjoyed speaking to them about the privilege and importance of voting.  It’s certainly not a perfect country but we spend so much time “breaking down” our faults that we sometimes forget that it is a special country.  And precisely for that reason, much has been given and much is to be expected.

One of the reasons why I think highly of my country is because of the two fine candidates we have for the President of the United States.  Watching every second of these videos from the Alfred E. Smith dinner [the day after the 3rd debate] not only made me laugh so hard but also reminded me that we have two solid candidates – even if they do have some “fundamental” differences.  These videos are funnier than ANY SNL skit I have ever seen!  Do yourself a favor and enjoy them.  Much props to Senators McCain and Obama.  One of you will become the next President of the United States.

John McCain’s stand up routine.  Where was this McCain during the debates?

And here’s Obama’s stand up routine.

[fast forward this to 4:10 for transition from video above]

I especially loved this quote from Senator McCain:

“I don’t want it getting out of this room, but my opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways,” McCain said. “Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in each other. But I’ve had a few glimpses of this man at his best and I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It’s not for nothing, but he’s inspired many folks in his own party and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history and he’s made quite a bit of it already. There was a time when the mere invitation of an African-American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult. Today is a world away from the cruelty and prideful bigotry of that time – and good riddance. “I can’t wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well.”

h/t: bob blog

Filed under: politics, , , , ,

19 Responses

  1. John Chang says:

    Simply refreshing.

  2. Kari Byrd says:

    That was great. I wish that was televised as much as the debates. I think it would help with the tension that seems to be growing…http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/mccainpalin-supporters-let-their-rac

  3. Peter says:

    “…and I’m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary.” man… who writes that stuff?

  4. Hilary says:

    Best moment of the entire campaign for me- it re-humanized the candidates. I needed that. It led me to my knees in prayer for both of them.

  5. eugenecho says:

    Just seeing them laugh and smile so much was so enjoyable. Gave me hope that these folks can actually work together in the future for the better of the country and the larger world.

  6. Hey all. First of all, those were absolutely hilarious. Very very funny stuff.

    I have an honest question. What about pre-written comedy speeches makes these candidates any more human? Why are they “solid” candidates? Just because they have been named to represent their party? Or is there a further requirement to being considered worthy of the office- like that they have policies and a history of voting that do not stand in contradiction to justice, liberty and human rights. In other words, they represent, and don’t challenge, the principles on which this fine country was founded. At least one of those two candidates has been a cheerleader for the illegal invasion of a soveriegn nation. What has that cost the world, this nation, and millions of families, and does seven minutes of joke-telling really change any of that?

    It reminded me of the time Bush cracked jokes about not being able to find WMDs in Iraq at one of those white-tie dinners, while soldiers are over there fighting and dying. We are in the middle of two wars. That doesn’t mean that we should throw out humor or irony and be hopeless, but on the flipside I think we also shouldn’t take such moments of lightness and then say “see- they are good men afterall.”

    I don’t know either candidate, I mean really know them, and neither do any of you. That’s why we should vote on policy and their voting history not their personality or likability. These men- both of them, may very well want the best for this country. But intentions are irrelevant, are they not? Actions speak louder than words, or in this case- jokes.

    I am not voting for Obama or McCain, so this is not a right vs. left issue. Both have had moments where their personalities have shined, and they appear to be very clever and often likable men. But then again- so is Jim Carrey whenever he’s on Letterman.

    Am I being unfair, or Mr. Doomsday somehow? I will listen and consider any respectful replies.

    -ian

  7. Channing Park says:

    Ian –
    I appreciate the concern you articulate in your post. At times, it does seem like the “sky is falling” and we are offered a choice between two less evils.
    Allow first to respond to a couple of your comments:
    1)standing for justice, liberty, and human rights. I could put a hundred people together in a room and we could come up with a 100 different shades of meaning for each term. I do not believe either candidate have evil intent in their heart. Are they going to make mistakes? Absolutely. We talk about building a community of grace and mercy and yet somehow we think it only applies to ourselves.
    2) illegal invasion of a sovereign nation – illegal? really? Congress signed off on the use of force. While I might not agree with Congress abdicating its Constitutional responsibility by passing the War Powers Act, the representatives of this country did grant the President permission to invade Iraq. Immoral? That is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Channing

  8. Hi Channing- wow, good response, and food for thought, thank you.

    Quickly- I am not so sure the sky is falling any more than other times of great struggle in history. Not to minimalize the challenges we face, but I am not afraid or terrorized by the reality, just concerned for our republic for a few reasons.

    Are you advocating for a vote between only one of the two leading parties? What about a third-party vote? That’s the way I’m going, and I’ll share my reason why. I think the lesser of two evils mentality allows both parties to anoint a representative that can be grossly out of step with the party’s traditional philosophies (reflective of this nation’s principles), he/she need only be slightly better than the other candidate. To make an exaggerated example- it could potentially be the better of two criminals. Voting for a third party shows the leading parties how many votes were lost due to their wandering. Votes talk, especially when an election is lost due to voter absense (lack of enthusiasm for McCain) or votes that went third party. This leads to a party re-aligned with their historical principles. Eventually, or hopefully.

    You are right about grace and mercy, but is that the point? McCain has a reckless foreign policy that even many conservatives find unsettling. Many examples there. He is not saying “whoops” on Iraq, he’s saying “more.” Grace and mercy- absolutely, but does that mean I vote for the Most Likely to Keep It Going?

    2) illegal, when weighed against the historic markers of when and how this country has usually gone to war. I realise that Congress rolled over on Iraq. Typically, even as recently as Reagan, we have had a policy that says never go to war unless we a) are attacked first (which we weren’t, by Iraq) and that the enemy represents b) a clear and present danger to the national security of our nation (not “our national interests abroad” which has more to do with empire). Meaning- no preemptive war, which Iraq was. I boiled it down quite a bit as there are volumes of potential discussion just waiting on this issue, but I’m sure you follow my logic on this.

    thanks again Channing,

    ian

  9. Tom says:

    No surprise in McCain’s case–he’s been very funny over the years on talk shows–but Obama kind of surprised me. Good material and nice delivery. I’ve had a running joke with some friends that he would have wrapped up this election long ago if his name was ‘Bob Obama,’ but I think ‘Steve’ would do just fine too :^) Made me breathe a sigh of relief. Though I’m a big Obama supporter I’ve been dreading his potential victory in at least one way: the prospect of being forced to watch a bunch of over earnest liberals for four or eight years. Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton were witty and funny, but boy, the humor potential of Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi–at least until last night–was looking pretty grim. Thought we were going to get a throwback to the ‘we are not amused’ kind of Jimmy Carter progressive seriousness and that Biden might be the ‘go to guy’ for the laughs. But given the performance at the banquet, hey, we may get some much needed humor from the Oval Office. Cool, and important, I think, particularly during what are obviously going to be some pretty hard times.

  10. channing and others- i’m still hoping to understand what you see is the value of these videos (besides the obvious laughs) in light of the upcoming election. specifically- how do the clips solidify your opinion of either candidate? if they do, do you also agree that likability and/or personality is a potentially deceptive gauge for voting?

    Just trying to figure this one out from another perspective.

    ian

  11. Tom says:

    @ian–Yes, likability and a sense of humor can be deceptive. I made an argument on another blog about two months ago that our overemphasis on a candidate’s ‘life narrative’ was damaging because we often pay too little attention to ideas and deeds. Bush’s ‘prodigal son’ narrative, as well as his sense of humor, impressed a lot of people who didn’t pay enough attention to his lack of accomplishments and lack of intellectual seriousness. Having said that, seeing a candidate who can handle a situation like the banquet the other night with grace and humor is important. The reality is that a sense of humor helps a leader be more persuasive and effective, and I think can help calm people. Humor, by its nature, is based on a sense of fallibility–our own in the case of self-deprecation and the fallibility of others in satire and other forms of humor. It’s always a good thing to see someone who demonstrates that they get their own fallibility and that of others–even those in their own party. Humor is one of the more important indicators of that positive character trait. Or in other words, having a sense of humor (or a good personal narrative) isn’t enough and can be misleading, but on the other hand you don’t want folks leading the country who can’t tell or take a joke. I think that lack in Jimmy Carter really hurt him and helped limit some of the real good he could have done, and I’ve seen that kind of over earnestness hurt other progressives as well. People respond well to humor–in some ways it’s just that simple.

  12. Damn good stuff, Tom. I don’t disagree with any of it. Very insightful.

    -ian

  13. eugenecho says:

    You guys are certainly making me think.

    but yes, i’m still laughing at their jokes.

  14. Aaron says:

    @Ian… I believe these speeches do show their humanity… it reminds me they have a sense of humor (pre-written or not), they enjoy a sense of community, that they can find common ground… that they can laugh at each other. I enjoy my friends who are funny…. even when jokes are canned… I enjoy laughing and I enjoy funny people. Stand up comedians jokes are all pre-written… but we still enjoy them too.

    On another note, I saw a bumper sticker (oh yes, the wisdom of bumper stickers) with an image of Obama on it that said “Hitler gave great speeches”. Don’t get me wrong… the bumper sticker was very distasteful, no matter who you are voting for. And I am not advocating for any candidate here… But I think it does make a point… you can not hang your vote on who is a great orator or who debates better, who is wittier, better looking, more charismatic, more humorous or more likable.

    So my point, yes… it reminds me of their humanity… and yes I enjoy it. But it is not a barometer of who is a better candidate.

  15. Well said, Aaron. I’m with you on this. Clever point too about stand up comedians having pre-written material.

    ian

  16. […] must see funny videos of the next president of the united states « beauty and depravity […]

  17. badtema says:

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  18. Ben C says:

    it was pretty funny but def not laugh out loud funny

  19. craig says:

    …is it just me or does Obama look really strange after McCain’s bit about “good riddance” to bigotry? I can’t tell if he’s appreciating the comments, or offended that McCain took it there?

    Or maybe he’s just constipated…?

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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