This article was originally written Wednesday, 08 October 2008.
Anal moderator for the first US Presidential Debate, Jim Lehrer, kicked off the proceedings with a disclaimer to the audience, demanding them to be on their best behavior.
"We're trying a new format here it's going to require my absolute concentration," he said. "There's going to be an understandable natural tendency to cheer, hiss, boo, woo, sing stripper music, or whatever don't do it. And there's to be no room keys or bras thrown on-stage, either. I mean, Obama probably doesn't have the ?experience' to handle you girls anyway; I'm just kidding. On the contrary, he has two adorable daughters."
Lehrer noted that the candidate's respective wives were seated on opposite sides of the hall to help enforce the quiet policy, but more importantly, the separation between the two would help prevent a possible Jell-O wrestle grudge match.
"I don't want to be difficult about it," Lehrer said, adding that taking pictures are also forbidden. "McCain has already complained that the flashes startle him, believing them to be torches, much like Frankenstein's monster. And please, no tripods. To him, those look like pitchforks. And he's already frightened enough. His Pampers can only hold so much."
Lehrer also demanded that there would be no jokes coming from McCain, especially about his age, "I don't want to hear anything about Werthers Originals, cardigan sweaters, BrilCream, old photo albums, delicious oatmeal, or long stories about Murder, She Wrote."
That particular demand was obeyed until McCain said that he was not "Miss Congeniality." Lehrer then chimed in with, "we know. You're Miss Havisham. Oops. Just broke my own rule."
Lehrer's regulations and micromanaging continued into the debate when Obama, at one point, said, "10 days ago, John McCain said the fundamentals of the economy are sound," Lehrer interrupted: "Say it directly to him! Say it directly to him!"
When Obama did just that, Lehrer said, "I'm just determined to get you all to talk to each other. Come on! Interact with each other; let's roleplay!"
Lehrer pressed on, asking, "Obama. Why don't you go over there and sit on his knee?"
After Obama begrudgingly complied, Lehrer asked that the two candidates to say something nice to each other.
After much urging from Lehrer, McCain said that "[Obama's] voice is as beautiful as Lando Calrissian's." Whereas Obama said, sheepishly, "you look like Bilbo Baggins when he strokes the Ring of Power in Fellowship."
McCain then offered Obama a Werthers Original. The two candidates hugged and the audience "awed."
"No awing!," Lehrer screamed to the crowd.
Portions of this article has appeared in maxitmag.com.