The Common Good
May-June 1996

And the Winner Is...[yawn]

by Ed Spivey Jr. | May-June 1996

As the primary season mercifully draws to a close, our crack H'rumphs
election team has determined that, with most of the delegate votes
tallied for the upcoming Republican ...

As the primary season mercifully draws to a close, our crack H'rumphs election team has determined that, with most of the delegate votes tallied for the upcoming Republican convention, Bob Dole will definitely be named the most boring guy there.

Coincidentally, he'll also be the nominee. Of course, we predicted this months ago through our extensive exit polling, which confirmed that every voter we talked to was, in fact, exiting. And glad to be doing so.

Dole is happy to put the primaries behind him and has already laid out the three most important issues of his presidential campaign: to balance the budget, to reduce the size of the federal government, and to give the state of New Hampshire back to Canada. (It doesn't matter that Canada never had it in the first place. New Hampshire has to learn not to mess with Bob Dole.)

He also has pledged to take a tough stand against rogue nations that violate international standards, pledging punitive economic sanctions on Cuba, China, and New Hampshire.

PUNDITS AGREE that, despite his impressive lock on the Republican nomination, Dole is handicapped by a stiff and overly businesslike personality. In response to this, Dole reassured his supporters at a recent press conference by whimsically joking that he "wasn't born in a suit and tie." Indeed, newly discovered medical records have confirmed that the candidate was actually born in a checked short-sleeve shirt, striped Bermuda shorts, and one of those cute little sailor caps.

But even with all the excitement generated by Bob Dole (campaign slogan: "I have a vision...and a pulse"), let's not forget the other Republican contenders who worked so hard to champion their causes and embarrass their wives. ("Now don't forget, honey, when I finally pull out of the race, Ineed you to stand behind me and smile and look extremely loyal, despite the fact that I spent all of our money and haven't been home for three months, OK?...honey...?")

Before we lose track of them entirely, let's take one last look at those Republican hopefuls and the laughingstock... oops... Imean the enormous contribution they have made to the political process we call democracy.

Although Bob Dornan failed to earn a single delegate, his promise to send American troops back to Vietnam ("...and this time we won't come home 'til we finish the job!") was a welcome break from the rational discourse of normal people who aren't really crazy.

Phil Gramm, who raised a record $20 million for his pre-primary war chest, left the campaign shortly after learning that he gets to keep what he didn't spend. "I don't have to give this back?" Gramm said after failing to win the Louisiana primary. "Cool."

Lamar Alexander, the candidate who convinced millions of Americans to throw away their flannel shirts in disgust, was one of the first casualties of the race. His hopes ended in controversy after he refused to answer the most troubling question from his past: How could anybody name their kid "Lamar"?

Billionaire Steve "Doesn't He Look Like a Deer Caught in the Headlights?" Forbes finally got the message that Americans weren't buying his goofball flat tax ideas when he received less than 8 percent of the vote on Super Tuesday. (He also did poorly on Wacky Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Thank God It's Friday.)

Forbes' campaign was dogged by the perception that he was an aloof, unfeeling, and humorless technocrat, an assertion contradicted by a recent phone call we had with the ex-candidate. In fact, we found him charming.

Sojourners: Knock knock.

Forbes: We've got to get America moving again.

Sojourners: Actually, you're supposed to say "Who's there?" So let's try again. Knock knock.

Forbes: The fact that I am a billionaire is just a distraction from the real issues of this campaign: growth, productivity, and dependable maid service.

Sojourners: Nevermind. [click] Sigh.

Forbes is reportedly putting his unique brand of fiscal optimism into a new book, It Takes a Shopping Mall (To Raise a Child).

Pat Buchanan had the best chance at the Republican nomination when he scored an upset victory in New Hampshire (formerly of the United States). Buchanan hoped his subsequent delegate totals would permit him to be a formidable voice at the convention. Unfortunately he finished with less than 200 delegates, which only entitles him to release the balloons over Bob Dole's podium. And maybe a free pizza.

And finally, there were a couple of other Republican hopefuls-a Richard Somebody and a Guy Named Keyes, I think. But they lost.

(Editors' Note: In the interest of balance, we submit the following actual joke heard on the campaign trail: "Bill Clinton is telling the truth when he claims he has created more than six million jobs,"complained a middle-class voter. "I've got three of them, and my wife has two.")

STUDY QUESTIONS

Don't you think a drinking glass is a bad place for a person (hypothetically, my wife) to store egg yolks in the refrigerator? Don't you think a plastic container with a lid would be better than what looks exactly like a glass of ice-cold orange juice, especially to a person who just finished working out, and who's not wearing his glasses?

Discuss. [Rinse. Spit.]

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