The Great Debate: John McCain and Barack Obama vs. John Oates

johnoates_bio.jpgThere are two very important cultural happenings tonight. Presidential nominees John "My Friends" McCain and Barack Obama will engage in a sure-to-be-scintillating debate of domestic policy and the economy at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on the campus of Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, and John Oates will perform at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. (Despite the fact that the press release on the Coach House's site is at least two years old, the show is indeed happening tonight.)

The debate starts at 6 p.m., the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Given how far south The Coach House is, most of us are looking at a very difficult choice. The kind of choice no one should have to make. Sophie's choice. Let's break this shiznit down.

VALUE: In these tough economic times, every dollar counts. Sure, if you already have a TV (and you probably do, unless you're one of those insufferable "I don't own a TV, I read" people), watching the debate is technically free. But think of the opportunity cost: Ninety minutes of your life to hear the same talking points over and over and "my friends" about a billion times. Especially when you know exactly what kind of fun you're giving up in the process.

The John Oates show is $25, which might sound like a lot, but truly is a paltry sum for the man co-responsible for hits like "Private Eyes." "Sara Smile" is worth at least a 10-spot by itself, right?

ADVANTAGE: Oates, provided he doesn't rely completely on solo material like Phunk Shui and the recently released 1000 Miles of Life.

PARTNERS: Oates and McCain have something in common other than their first names - they've both been outshined at times by their cohorts. Running mate Sarah Palin has been much more buzzworthy of late than Johnny Mac, and Darryl Hall wrote many of the duo's hits. And Joe Biden has been virtually invisible lately, while Hall has been doing awesome things like playing with Chromeo in his house.

ADVANTAGE: Oates, though Hall probably doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is, either.

MUSTACHES: Though currently clean-shaven (take a bittersweet look at the above pic), Oates is known for rockin' one of the greatest mustaches in music history. But neither McCain, Obama nor debate moderator Bob Schieffer have spent any part of their life in the public eye as mustachioed gentlemen.

ADVANTAGE: Oates, clearly.

VERDICT: Clean sweep. Sorry, democracy! The political process is fascinating and all, and being able to educate ourselves about a choice that will affect our country for years to come in a critical point on our nation's history sounds nice, but how can it truly compare with an intimate evening with one-half of the duo that gave the world "Rich Girl"? It cannot. Hopefully there's not a Simply Red show in town on election night.


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