Vol. 6, Issue 2, April 1, 2008
Obama/Spider-Man Ticket a Winner at Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Debate
Senator Barack Obama appeared to handily win the Nickelodeon Presidential Debate by promising to consider Spider-Man for his running mate.
"My administration would be an inclusive administration," said Obama. "We need to look beyond traditional racial and superhuman divides. Plus, Spidey is the king of the put-downs, and frankly I think that's become an important part of the vice president's job."
The Nickelodeon Debate is the first such event hosted by the network, which is known for its children's programming and its Kids Choice Awards, in which many honorees are honored by having buckets of green slime poured over their heads. It is believed to be the first presidential debate held specifically for an audience of twelve and under.
Debate moderator Miley Cyrus, better known as Hannah Montana, kept a surprisingly smooth and professional flow to the event as she shared questions submitted by kids for the candidates and fielded responses from Senators Obama, Clinton, and McCain. The questions ranged from the saccharin ("what is your favorite bedtime story?") to the alarmingly perspicacious ("could you please discuss whether you believe federal policy is an essentially moral or social instrument, and how your administration would reflect this belief?")
"This is a totally awesome event, and even though we can't, like, vote yet, we think that kids have some important stuff to say," said Cyrus. "Plus, we can, like, totally talk to our parents and get them to vote the right way, you know, or whatever. It's not like they know who they're voting for yet or anything."
Obama was easily the most comfortable with the humorous and at times immature tone of the proceedings. Clinton had her moments - it's clear that she is a fan of High School Musical, a fact that won her many points - but struggled as it became apparent that she was often trying a little too hard to connect with the kids. In particular, the audience panned her declaration that she would consider Spongebob Squarepants as a possible vice presidential candidate.
"I don't know if she said that because she, like, thought it would show that she was cool, or whatever," said Jason Byrne, age 10. "But Spongebob is, like, a moron. I like to watch him do stupid stuff on TV, but even I don't think it would be a good idea to put him in charge of anything. Except maybe the Department of the Interior, 'cause I don't know what they do."
McCain floundered even more than Clinton as he alternated between lectures that put audience members to sleep and cultural references decades out of date, including a vice presidential pick that nobody in the audience understood.
"The Loan Ranger?" said Tiffany Hugenot, age 7. "Is he like a bank guy? Cause the bank tries to take your house away, and I don't like that, because I like my house. All my stuff is in there."
All three participants endured the inevitable onslaught of green slime with reasonably good humor, though Obama emerged surprisingly unscathed from the gooey deluge.
"Oh, come on. Not even slime sticks to him," lamented a Clinton staffer after the event. "And this is fair how, exactly?"