Ever since the campaign for the Democratic nomination first began, basically on November 9, 2016, America has been treated to some truly comedic moments, from Hillary Clinton’s delayed concession speech, to two years of “will she, or won’t she?” speculation at a second - strike that - third, run for the presidency, all of which peppered with her $100 speeches to smaller crowds than a Bee Gees reunion concert would draw. And let’s not forget the Costco book signings for "What Happened" by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the only mystery novel with the mystery and answer both printed clearly on the cover.
Now the page has turned. A new collection of characters have thrown their respective hats in the ring as potential party hopefuls. And they really are a cast of characters, enough to make the original cast of Saturday Night Live look, well, amateurish.
We’ve been privy to some of the most awkward and ill-conceived public rollouts since Coca-Cola’s 1985 introduction of New COKE!
We’ve had upstart Beto O’Rourke confess to eating dirt and, for some reason, live streaming both his dental work and haircut. In the end, the only reason anyone even knows his name is that he lost his only major election. Well, that and the fact that he has a tendency to skateboard on stage and stand on counter-tops where people are eating. If he enjoyed some early comparisons to Robert Kennedy, he has a funny way of trying to further such comparisons. It’s hard to imagine RFK leading his brother through the Cuban Missile Crisis while getting a mani-pedi.
The nation was treated to Elizabeth Warren coming to the, hard to believe, revelation that when you’ve spent your entire professional life falsifying your racial heritage (for no gain, I’m sure), video-streaming the proof of your falsity is a bit of an error. But no worries. She quickly bounced back with her announcement video, which was, of course, interrupted by her need to get a beer. Maybe if she wanted to seem authentic, she might have had the beer out ahead of time? And looked like she had had at least one beer previously in her life. And then, of all things, feigning surprise that your own husband, is in your own house, while you are announcing your candidacy for the highest office in the world.
Warren might not have been, how should you say, channeling the famed Harry Truman authenticity. Maybe if she stuck to her usual appearance of erratic screeching as if she had just had three glasses of chardonnay and watched The Notebook, she would look more prepared to handle Kim Jong-un. Or maybe not.
Amy Klobuchar, extolling the virtues of being “Minnesota Nice” while making her underpaid staffers clean the combs she uses to eat her salads. Could one really imagine George Washington asking John Adams to hold his false teeth while he whistled? Probably not.
Kirsten Gillibrand apparently can’t hold the attention of a small Iowa diner unless she provides enough condiments for all. But hey, who doesn’t need ranch dressing with their chicken strips. Yet FDR always had a martini ready for his guests. When you were wholly for gun rights before you were against them, you sound more like the former Massachusetts Senator JFK, just not the JFK that became President (Kerry/Kennedy differential).
Pete Buttigieg is trying desperately to be relevant. But is that really his fault? It’s tough to attract the necessary big dollar donors when your only credential is being mayor of a small city better know for Notre Dame football than for exquisite executive leadership.
Then we have Old Uncle Joe Biden. The man who has consistently proven that flip-flopping isn’t just a young man’s sport. A man with more awkward faux pas than Lenny Bruce hosting a sweet sixteen. The man more famous for plagiarizing the concept of plagiarism than having an original thought. And Uncle Joe is in the lead.
All of this makes for the upcoming Democratic debates amounting to the greatest political theater of our time. A pageantry of victimhood with each candidate relying on their race, gender, or sexuality to propel them past the presumed presidential nominee. And then, it’s more likely than not, if history is any indication, Joe Biden will attempt to co-opt said victimhood as his own.
This is not the way to deal with the escalating Iranian threat. It’s no way to keep Kim Jong-un in check. It’s impossible to imagine any of the hopefuls sitting in for FDR with Stalin and Churchill. Or to see one of them replacing Kennedy in a showdown with Khrushchev
It may not be anyway to pick a nominee for the most powerful position in the world, but this promises to be a comedy of errors like none ever seen before.