Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

Donkeys and Elephants

Republican casualties in Iowa, and a literal pile-up in the televised debate from New Hampshire. Oh, and King Baby Trump still proudly chucking the contents of his potty at anyone and everyone. Hannah Dunleavy has the latest.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Chris Christie illustration by Louise Boulter.

The Iowa casualties

As we knew they would, the first primaries have shaken some flotsam and jetsam out of both races.

Rick Santorum’s gone, saying, “He and his family decided the best way to achieve his campaign’s goals was to get out of the race.” Except, presumably, his primary goal of being elected president.

It was also adiós to Rand Paul, who finished fifth in Iowa. According to the Guardian, his share of the vote was, “less than a quarter of the vote that his father, former congressman Ron Paul, received in the Hawkeye State in 2012.” Way to kick a man when he’s down, guys.

Paul’s problem, well his campaign one at least, was that he was squeezed from the right and the left, with many students, who traditionally go with libertarian candidates like the Pauls, now onboard the good ship Bernie Sanders.

Last casualty from the elephants was Mike Huckabee, the guy who promised to call out the National Guard on women seeking abortions. So long Mike, we hardly knew you. Man, I wish that were true.

Martin O’Malley also called time on his campaign in the Democratic Primary. And yet the world still spins on its axis.

“Despite being the favourite in New Hampshire for weeks, on Monday night when I put ‘Donald Trump New Ha…’ into Google the first thing it offered was still ‘Donald Trump New Hairstyle’.”

Carly Fiorina is hanging on in there, not that you’d notice

The television primary debate from New Hampshire had a lot fewer podiums – but even so Fiorina was excluded. She failed to get the required numbers in the New Hampshire polls, despite polling higher than candidates who were included, in Iowa and nationally. Even Ted Cruz thought it was a rum deal. And he’s Ted Cruz.

Ben Carson shows he’s still in the race by causing a pile-up at a televised debate

Well, this was all a bit excruciating and revealed as much about other candidates as it did Carson. When he failed to hear his introduction he became the big kid on a rubber ring blocking the water slide. Donald Trump also refused to take to the stage, because he’s Donald J Trump and if anyone is walking on last it’s him, leaving John Kasich forgotten about.

Watch the whole thing here and consider which one of these guys you’d trust to make a sandwich, let alone run a country.

What’s worse than waterboarding?

That debate raised the question of waterboarding, which Cruz denies was torture, Jeb! said was used sparingly and Trump saw his opportunity to metaphorically play with his balls – and pledged to bring in “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” What is that, do you think? Something from The Human Centipede?

Trump vs Cruz

Trump learned the lesson we did last year – never trust the polls – when he came second to Cruz in Iowa. At first, he appeared to have taken it on the chin, giving the sort of overtly magnanimous and not-so-secretly self-reverential speech that people give when they don’t win reality TV. That didn’t last and soon he was tweeting about Cruz stealing (illegally or not) the election when he spread a rumour that Carson had dropped out of the race.

Trump’s ire didn’t really gain much traction, with most writing it off as part of the Wacky Races way of things. It does seem nuts to assume that, at a time when we have all the information in the world at our fingertips, there are people who wouldn’t verify a fact before they voted. And if they do exist, I’m pretty sure they already vote for Trump.

“Chris Christie had more success when, on the same night, he became the first Republican in living memory to successfully make it through the expression ‘Fool me once, shame on you.'”

Trump vs Jeb!

Trump was also forced to throw up his hands and put out his lip in that gesture he appears to have nicked (illegally or not) from a 1950s sitcom character, by Jeb!. Remember him?

The property magnate was accused of trying to use eminent domain to buy an old lady’s house so he could create a place to park more limousines in his Atlantic City Casino. Honestly, it couldn’t sound worse if it came with a sex dungeon. It did come with boos. Cue “what me?” hands.

Before we leave Trump, here’s a fun internet search fact. Despite being the favourite in New Hampshire for weeks (he did, eventually triumph there), on Monday night when I put ‘Donald Trump New Ha…’ into Google the first thing it offered was still ‘Donald Trump New Hairstyle’. I hope this is how history remembers him. *What me?*

Rubio vs Christie

Nah, that should definitely be the other way around. For all of the booing, it was this TV debate dust-up that got everyone talking. And by talking, I mean not delivering pre-prepared soundbites.

Christie is a bully and there is a very limited time and place for that, but he found his moment in a spat with Rubio about experience that ended with the young senator glitching and repeating his pre-prepared speech almost word for word. (It included twice claiming that he would make America “the single greatest country in the history of the world.” A bold claim. Mind you, Mike Huckabee promised to “conquer jihadism” and look at what’s he’s… oh wait.)

Christie had an appalling result in Iowa, but soldiered on to New Hampshire (despite this piece of brilliant in The New Yorker claiming he’s quitting to concentrate on tormenting Rubio full time.)

Christie had more success when, on the same night, he became the first Republican in living memory to successfully make it through the expression “Fool me once, shame on you.”

(George Bush’s infamous attempt, you may recall, was: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”)

A piss-poor show in New Hampshire means Christie will likely suspend his campaign in the coming days. But those results also showed he inflicted real damage on Rubio, who got fewer votes than Trump, Bush (no really) and Cruz. See also least-worst candidate Kasich, who came in second, a sliver of hope if ever I saw one.

Bernie Sanders was on Saturday Night Live

With Larry David. Seek it out. He also won New Hampshire.

And, if you think I’ve given the Democrats short shrift

We’ll be talking Clinton vs Sanders in our next podcast, available next week. I’ll also be discussing the results of the New Hampshire shitshow in more detail with comedian and former psychotherapist Taylor Glenn and writer and political animal Jen Offord.

Read all of D&E here.
And check out our first D&E podcast here.

@funnypunts

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.