Highlights from the 2016 campaign literature.

Author:Garvin, Glenn
 
FREE EXCERPT

* The Claude Rains Award for total transparency: Mike Huckabee, for his forthright declaration that "I didn't kidnap the Lindbergh baby, I didn't sink the Titanic, and I wasn't standing on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on November 22,1963." He also denies ever having tasted Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine.

* The MKULTRA Award for a veiled bid to run the CIA: Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon: "I could take an 85-year-old man and place depth electrodes into a certain part of his brain followed by an appropriate electrical stimulation and he would be able to recite verbatim a book he read 60 years ago."

* The Don-Draper-on-Acid Award for political advertising: In the 2010 U.S. Senate primary in California, Carly Fiorina portrayed her opponent as a sheep with hellfire-red eyes wearing a Jason-style hockey mask. The "demon sheep" ad, as it became known, was "unconventional," she recounts with considerable understatement. More accurately, the online outlet SFist proclaimed: "Fans of batshit insane campaign commercials rejoice!"

* The greatest circumlocution since "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is": Hillary Clinton, describing an argument over whether the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout could be scheduled during the White House Correspondents' Dinner, at which Barack Obama was scheduled to speak: "While I don't remember exactly what I said, some in the media have quoted me using a four-letter word to dismiss the correspondents' dinner. I have not sought a correction."

* The most ringing endorsement of technology: "I don't buy into the dystopian scenario of self-aware robots enslaving mankind," declares a defiant Marco Rubio.

* The John Galt Award for the most concise description of a libertarian society ever: Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania: "It has become popular, particularly among libertarians, to think of freedom as being allowed to do as we please.... Smoking marijuana, hiring prostitutes, aborting your child, ignoring the poor and doing whatever else gives you momentary pleasure, as long as no one else gets hurt."

* The most useful guy to have around in a post-apocalyptic landscape: Huckabee, who pugnaciously notes that his family was so poor when he was growing up that he had to learn to stab frogs with regular garden tools instead of fancy store-bought frog-stabbers.

* The best Hallmark moment: The first nine months of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's first term were mostly spent battling public...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP