Last night I watched a group of boring people slap each other with wet fish. Or as CNN like to call it, the ‘Western Republican Presidential Debate’. Live from Las Vegas, the stage set probably cost more than the French defence budget. Anderson Cooper looked particularly shiny for the occasion.
So what did I learn about the Republican candidates seeking nomination for the 2012 election?
Herman Cain. Crazy name, crazy guy.
Michele Bachmann. Dressed like Richard Gere in ‘An Officer and A Gentleman’ but without the cap, she spoke slowly in a hectoring, shrill monotone like she was at a convention for the deaf. She thinks America will only be respected again in the world by using force – oh dear – and raised the issue of anchor babies (christ on a bike, surely they can afford a wee chunk of metal?). At one point Michele pleaded directly to the camera “Hold on, moms out there, it’s not too late!” Uh yes it is. Three words: pelvic floor muscles.
Ron Paul. With his too-big jacket collar rising up at the back, he resembled one of the morose cartoon vultures from the Jungle Book. Answered every question, no matter the topic, with a thesis on the economy.
Rick Santorum. Anxious and earnest. Like a puppy pleading with the big dogs to let him play.
Newt Gingrich. Rotund and conceited, he looked like a cat that’s just shit on the sofa and given its owner the furry finger.
Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. I am convinced both dye their hair. Perry had the waxy look and high collar of a Six Million Dollar Man action figure. Romney smirked like a python that had digested a whole pig a week ago and was still full. But the sparks flying between them was the best entertainment of the night; it was cocks on tables all the way. They had a ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ row when discussing job creation in their respective states. It was a televisual mugging with, in my view, Romney ultimately losing his handbag. He tried hard to remain statesmanlike but at times looked like he wanted to rip Perry’s head off and save it for later. I hoped that Perry might thump Romney but no such luck.
I perked up during a discussion of the Obamacare health plan when I thought Mitt Romney said “I crapped on the plan” when he actually said “I crafted the plan“, but then I got a bit bored and switched over to watch Blue Planet. I learnt more about plankton than I did about Republican policies; all I really got from the debate was that they would all cut foreign aid, and that Obama was to blame for everything bad in the world including malaria, jeggings and forging the Hitler diaries.
What seemed most interesting to me was that they all said “When I am President ….” like they didn’t really believe it. It would be like me saying “Ooh this frock is getting a bit tight up-top, perhaps I need a bigger bra size“. It’s just never going to happen.