Well, here we are on the eve of Election 2010. It’s all over now but the last-minute shouting and the counting and the laughing and crying. This column will focus on the laughing, because in times like these, sometimes the best remedy is a good laugh. And there’s no better source of political laughs than the candidates themselves. In fairness to our local candidates, nothing will be written about them or their verbal gaffes. There’s more than enough in the rest of the USA to go around.
Let’s start with the non-witch Senate hopeful from Delaware, Christine O’Donnell. In 2007, on The O’Reilly Factor, she actually said, “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.” Hmm… were the human brains miniaturized, or were the mice heads drastically enlarged?
Ohio House candidate Rich Iott, trying to explain why he regularly dons a Nazi SS uniform in reenactments, actually said, “I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country [Nazi Germany] that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things.” Making room for the other foot, he went on to say that Nazi soldiers “were doing what they thought was right for their country.” Well, Rich, that explains everything.
No one can deny that our President, Barack Obama, gets around. Sometimes he isn’t totally clear on just where he is, like when he was in Sunrise, a beautiful community in nearby Broward County. Imagine yourself as an elected official, perhaps the Mayor of Sunrise, and you’ve just introduced the Leader of the Free World, who strides up to the podium in your hometown and proudly asks, “How’s it going, Sunshine?” He also once said, “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.” At least he didn’t blame Sunrise.
Obama’s second-in-command, Vice President Joe Biden, has committed more than his share of verbal missteps, like saying, “Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see ya!” to wheelchair-bound Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham. On confusing his running mate with a Marvel Comics hero, Biden said, “A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States – Barack America!”
Former New York Mayor and presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani actually said, “We don’t all agree on everything. I don’t agree with myself on everything.” That must make for some interesting late-night solo conversations!
We all know that politicians sometimes have egos. Here’s a quote from Alvin Greene, who mysteriously won the Senate primary in South Carolina, despite never making any public appearances, running any ads, or even having a campaign Web site: “I am the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina. And I am also the best person to be Time magazine’s Man of the Year.” Further evidence that the Ego has landed: “Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe, little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform and me in my suit. They can make toys of my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids and me. That’s something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It’s not something a typical person would bring up. That’s something that could happen, that makes sense. It’s not a joke.” Wow, what a selfless sacrifice.
Perhaps the most stupid quote this year came from Rep. Joe Barton during a congressional hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward, referring to a $20 billion fund for damages that President Obama pressured BP to set up to pay for the Gulf oil spill. Barton, the biggest recipient of oil and gas-industry-campaign contributions in the House of Representatives, actually said, “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown—in this case a $20 billion shakedown… I’m only speaking for myself. I’m not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize. I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.” Tony Hayward humbly accepts your apology from Siberia.
Well, that’s all we have room for this week (but there are so many more). Please remember to exercise your right and duty and vote Tuesday (if you haven’t already done so). That way, you’ll have earned the right to criticize when your candidates say the darndest things!