Here's a very odd piece of political ephemera. It's a Halloween-themed jack-o-lantern door hanger used during the 1968 Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew presidential campaign. In big, block letters it announced "Even the Great Pumpkin Is Voting Nixon-Agnew." This bit of ephemera is a clear nod to the classic Peanuts TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The CBS animated special debuted in October 1966 and was no doubt fresh in the minds of American voters. Whether or not this door hanger was enough to tip the scales in favor of the GOP ticket is debatable, but Nixon and Agnew cruised to a sizable Electoral College victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey and running mate Edmund Muskie.
As the U.S. government shuts down once again in a display of petty brinksmanship, it's worth remembering that our Republican and Democrat friends have been pulling crap like this since day one. To illustrate that point, here's a fantastic illustration -- it's too nice to be called a cartoon -- from a July 1910 issue of Puck magazine. It shows us that, truly, there is nothing new under the political sun. Click for a larger version. In a bit of sad irony, I obtained this image from the website of the Library of Congress -- which is now shut down.
When last I checked on the Google instant search results for soon-to-be former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann -- during her failed bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination -- she wasn't looking too good. And now that she has announced she's not going to seek re-election to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, I thought I'd see if her image has improved over the last few years. Nope. It seems that in addition to still being crazy and hot, Bachmann is now a racist. That's a shame. We'll always have the corn dog at least.
As the GOP prepares to party in Tampa and nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take on Barack Obama this November, I thought I'd take a look at Republican National Conventions gone by. Here's a selection of vintage photographs from GOP pow-wows starting with 1908 and ending with 1976. 1908 -- Chicago (William Howard Taft) 1912 -- Chicago (William Howard Taft) 1916 - Chicago (Charles Evans Hughes) 1920 -- Chicago (Warren G. Harding) 1936 -- Cleveland (Alf Landon) 1940 -- Philadelphia (Wendell Willkie) 1944 -- Chicago (Thomas E. Dewey) 1948 -- Philadelphia (Thomas E. Dewey) 1952 -- Chicago (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 1956 -- San Francisco (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 1960 -- Chicago (Richard M. Nixon) 1964 -- San Francisco (Barry Goldwater) 1968 -- Miami Beach 1...
It's not even 2012 yet and this is turning out to be one of the saddest and most lackluster presidential campaign seasons in recent memory. Barring a societal or economic meltdown of Mayan Prophecy proportions (and no, the so-called Great Recession doesn't quite reach that level), I don't see how Barack Obama can lose. That's not to say that he's been kicking ass for the last three-or-so-years. Aside from taking out bin Laden, perhaps Obama's most memorable accomplishment this term has been that he kept McCain and Palin out of the White House. And for me at least, that still counts for something. I just wonder if he'll have much ammo to use when a Republican candidate finally emerges from the farcical battle royale that has been the GOP Octagon, which is down another competitor now that
I know it's way too soon to know who will win the 2012 presidential election, much less the Republican nomination. Rick Perry is certainly on a hot streak, but we all know that can change in a minute. That said, Michele Bachmann has a bit of an uphill climb ahead of her. Her poll numbers have been slipping in recent days, and pictures like these certainly won't help her much: Things are only getting worse for Bachmann, if Google is any indication: Hard to put a positive spin on Bachmann's campaign woes when she's apparently thought of as: an idiot, Israel (??), crazy, hot, stupid, nuts, a moron, batshit crazy, or evil.
Minnesota Republican Congresswoman, presidential hopeful and Conservative firebrand Michele Bachmann, as pictured on the August 15, 2011 cover of Newsweek: And Steve Carell as Andy Stitzer in The 40 Year-Old Virgin: Related articles Newsweek keeping it classy in presidential coverage (hotair.com) Newsweek Puts Picture of Michele Bachmann on Cover That Makes Her Look Crazy (gunnyg.wordpress.com) Michele Bachmann Looks, Um, Surprised to Be on Newsweek Cover  (gawker.com) Steve Carell cranks up movie career with films he loves (ctv.ca)
Arizona governor Jan Brewer(R): and Terence Stamp as Bernadette Basinger/Ralph Waite in the 1994 gender-bending romp, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert:
I try to keep things light around here, and therefore relatively free of politics. But this is simply too rich to pass up. It's a video of vice presidential candidate and current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, delivering a speech to the Wasilla Assembly of God (her one-time church). According to the video uploader, the speech was delivered about three months ago, so it's not a long-lost nugget from Palin's past like the video of her as a young sportscaster or the pictures of her as an aspiring beauty queen. And that means it's fair game. I'm not going to get into the strictly spiritual aspects of this clip, as I try to maintain a healthy level of respect for the religious beliefs of others. But a few things stood out as rather disturbing - see if you can guess what they are!