October 15th, 2008
12:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Greene: Hempstead debate preview– old friends

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/hoftstrasign2.jpg
 caption="Hofstra University is the site of the final presidential debate."]

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN)– Manny Stein, 78, and Don Raider, 72, old buddies, were having lunch together, as is their custom, at the Golden Reef Diner on Sunrise Highway.

They not only can finish each other’s sentences, sometimes they don’t even have to say the sentences. They’ve known each other that long.

How long?

“Don’t ask,” said Manny Stein.

They will both watch the debate tonight. No question about that.

“I’ve watched all of them," Manny Stein said. “Start to finish, and more.”

More than start to finish?

“I watch them again when they replay them,” he said.

He’s for Barack Obama, he said. Nothing that happens in tonight’s debate will change his mind.

“I just want to see the twists and turns," he said.

“He wants to see the twists and turns," Don Raider said.

“I’m sticking with my guy," Manny Stein said. Meaning Obama.

“But maybe if the other guy does well, I won’t have such a low opinion of him,” he said. Meaning McCain.

Don Raider, on the other hand, is very much for McCain.

“Despite that, I still speak to him anyway,” said Manny Stein. Referring to his friend.

And how long have you two been friends?

“Too long,” said Don Raider.

He said he plans to watch tonight’s debate “until it gets ridiculous."


“When they start going on and on with the rhetoric, and saying the same lines they’ve said before.”

But if he knows that he will be voting for McCain, why sit through the debate?

“I’m hoping for a startling revelation, not that it will happen," he said.

What kind of startling revelation?

“Like one of them, instead of just saying what the problems in the country are, will actually say how he’s going to fix the problems,” he said.

“They do say that,” Manny Stein said.

“When?” Don Raider said.

The two said they will be watching the debate separately, at their respective homes.

“Every minute of it,” Manny Stein said.

“If it doesn‘t get too ridiculous,” Don Raider said.

Filed under: Bob Greene • Election Express
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