Just back from spending a few days vacation with my daughter at the Great Wolf Lodge -- a huge indoor water park built around a rustic Alaskan theme: fake logs, fake fireplaces, fake Wolf legends. The waterpark itself has some slides that are three stories high, where one sits on a raft as if one were running white water, and I have to say that it can be a great deal of fun to tear down these chutes in ones bathing suit while outside snow flurries through the air (we were in the Poconos, but there are other Great Wolves around the country).
Like going to Disneyworld, however, vacationing at Great Wolf takes stamina and a stuffed wallet. The park, hallways, restaurants, and gift shots were filled with families and small children; the noise level was set to crescendo. And the level of desire in the air (really greed, let's face it) was off the charts.
All sort of like presidential campaigning, right? Standing wearily in the Wolf's Starbucks early one AM, I looked down at a copy of the New York Daily News to see a picture of John McCain and wife on a factory visit in Wayne, MI, both wearing safety glasses that made them look like they were in an S/M relationship. They looked particularly grim. Why so glum, John, I wondered--then turned to read that the New York Times had a run a story about McCain having a possibly inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist. Despite my weariness and the fact that a three year old belonging to another "Dad"-- as the Wolf calls us, as in "Dad, how many of those Magic Quest wands would you like at forty bucks a pop?" -- standing right in front of me appearing to have pee trickling down her leg -- I grinned to myself. At last, the campaign is beginning, I thought. This was reinforced yesterday by Hillary's accusation that the Obama campaign is misrepresenting her Nafta stance in flyers handed out in Ohio. "Taking a page from Karl Rove's playbook" is the line, one that rings through American history. If it's not Karl Rove, it's Lee Atwater in 1988 or William McKinley's campaign manager in 1896, Mark Harris, or some other evil genius.
But it isn't. It's just presidential politics, the wolf is howling at last. Nice.