I have just seven days to fully grasp the complexities of the Republican nomination process before the Iowa caucus takes place on 3 January. The only thing I am currently fully grasping is a big glass of wine and frankly it’s not helping much.
In an attempt to fill the ‘what’s a caucus?’ hole in my head, I had carried out a brief survey during the office Christmas party, but it revealed a similarly disturbing shortfall in knowledge. In retrospect, asking twenty-somethings at a free bar serious questions that didn’t involve the words ‘mine’s a large one’ was never going to result in any sensible intelligence. I then tried an equation-based method (asking clever people + googling = understanding) but it didn’t work either, and so I have given up. Anyway, I am pretty sure that my total ignorance won’t diminish my enjoyment of the campaign. It’s a bit like using a toaster; I don’t know how it works but I doubt the toast would taste any better if I did.
During my lovely Christmas break in the UK, as I blethered on to friends and family about the Republican debates (Me: “Mitt, Newt, Rick, Rick, Jon, Ron and Michele blah blah” Friend: “Sounds like a shit 1960’s pop group”), I was twice called a ‘political geek’. I admit that I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to the 2012 election here, but I’m no geek; such a horrid description. Brings to mind a 14-year-old boy using applied mathematics to calculate how long he should sit on his hand before cracking one off.
I’m not sure why I find this campaign so fascinating. I guess because it is so utterly different from our own elections, all shiny and entertaining and rather mystifying. Conservative commentators from the likes of Fox News nip at the heels of the campaign to remind us that Obama will personally taser your pet dog and then set it on fire in front of your gran if he’s re-elected. I have to keep telling myself that I’m not watching the Colbert Report, and these people actually believe the toxic clouds of words that steam from their mouths.
So which candidate is going to get my (imaginary) vote? There is a Japanese proverb that says “When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends”. So let’s have a peek at some of the endorsements the candidates have received.
Jon Huntsman has the endorsement of Jeb Bush Jr. I bet he’s really pleased.
Michele Bachman has been endorsed by Kelsey Grammer. Well, he did play a psychiatrist.
Rick Perry has the support of actor and former Superman Dean Cain. Rick in fact believes that he has the endorsement of the real Superman.
Mitt Romney is being supported by rubbish witch Christine O’Donnell and, apparently, the Osmonds. His biggest endorsement comes from George Bush’s dad, the former President George H. W. Bush, who is supporting Mitt because he’s “not a bomb-thrower“. That’s a relief.
Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. So annoying. I couldn’t find any interesting endorsements. Just loads of religious crazies. Pfff.
Where, I hear you cry, is Ron Paul on the list? And well might you ask. Yet again, I have left the best till last. The Mighty Ron has the kind of support that must have Newt weeping into his catnip. Not only does he have chiseled lothario and top all-round entertainer Barry Manilow on his side, but Ron also has the nod from comedy genius Vince Vaughn, famous rapper Prodigy, and professional wrestler/politician Jesse Ventura. But that’s not all. Oh no. Ron has the thumbs up from legendary tough guy and all-round American hero CHUCK NORRIS.
He shoots, he scores. Game on, Iowa.
UPDATE – Today, 20 Jan, Chuck abandoned Ron and came out for Newt. How could you, Chuck? #fail