Niagara Gazette

October 2, 2012

BRADBERRY: Pivot, walk-back and double-down shuffle

By Bill Bradberry
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — There’s a brand new dance craze in town; the Presidential Pivot, Walk-Back & Double Down Shuffle debuting tonight on live television in front of  a worldwide audience as the two leading White House candidates face off in the first of three so-called debates barely one month before election day, Nov. 6.

While South Korean rapper PSY’s crazy horse-riding- like Gangnam Style fever has effectively swept the universe over the past few weeks with his pulsating beats, mesmerizing chorus and wild dance gyrations, this highly anticipated, well rehearsed, well staged production promises to debut with all of the sparkle, shine and fanfare of a Hollywood production matching the scale of some of the hugely popular song & dance talent shows that are flooding the prime-time market these days, but this one could be a game changer.

The biggest winner may be the performer who has best mastered the latest dance moves. Way beyond the Twist, the Rumba, the Cha Cha, Waltz and even the Tango; tonight we may have the honor and the privilege of witnessing an all new version of the Sidestep, now known as the Presidential Pivot, Walk-Back & Double-Down Shuffle.

Think of tonight as a sort of rap contest with the players trying their royal best to respond to some questions without actually answering them; they accomplish that by engaging slick combinations of the shuffle.

The pivot, for example, is a favorite of most politicians who use the Shuffle. When it is smoothly employed, neither the person who raised the question, nor the attentive audience is even aware of what just happened; the clever politician will appear to be answering a question while, in fact, (s)he has actually changed the subject.

The Walk-Back reminiscent of the late Michael Jackson’s Moon Walk, is nothing less than fascinating to watch when it is done properly. The walk lets a politician who has said something, usually extreme, remove some elements of an otherwise harsh statement, making it seem less offensive to the audience, but not necessarily to the intended recipient of his or her scorn.

The double down is probably the easiest to spot and the most exciting to watch especially when the initial move, normally in the form of an extremely critical verbal attack supported by neither fact nor the slightest of evidence, is repeated with contrived confidence and raw, brute unsubstantiated certitude.

The shuffle moves, when blended together in a moderated blow by blow cacophony of musical chair like position shifting promises to deliver an evening of delightful enlightenment for those who may be more interested in appearances than in substance; it should be at least as entertaining as the stump speeches we’ve been watching as the campaign draws ever so slowly toward what some predict will be an Apocalyptic conclusion.

Until then, flanked by hoards of loyal consultants, cheering fans, groupies and hardcore roadies the candidates and their tightly wound campaigns are down playing expectations while they sharpen their best political song and dance routines for the judges who, in this contest, are we, the people.

With early and absentee voting already well under way in at least 35 states, the contest is quickly approaching the final stretch; depending on which independent polls you choose to believe, this race could be won or lost by a nose.

Some of the very, very few judges who still have not made up their mind might actually be persuaded one way or the other by the candidates’ performances on the stage tonight.

Others will be moved to make a decision and cast their vote by the apparently all-powerful hypnotic, mind controlling television advertising campaign commercials that seem to run, one after another on every television channel, every radio station and the internet all day, every day for no apparent reason except to brainwash zombies; meanwhile, millions of voters have already, or soon will cast their ballots well ahead of Election Day, Nov. 6.

Thankfully, most of the outrageously blatant voter suppression schemes, including the most obviously partisan and redundant voter identification documentation requirements, ostensibly designed to prevent what amounts to be nearly totally if not completely non-existent, and more likely entirely imaginary voter fraud, have been rejected by the courts as transparent efforts to disenfranchise legitimate electors from carrying out their constitutional right.

Regardless of your political persuasion, and whether you are active in your party or not, pay close attention to what’s going on (or not) in both parties; focus on the real issues, listen carefully to the questions asked, and see if the candidates are actually answering the questions, or whether they are trying to dance around them, then pick your winner and cast your vote as if your life depends on it; it just may.

Contact Bill at