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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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