November 1, 2010

The Top Five Most Bizarre Congressional Races

Print More

As serious as politics ought to remain, it would not be election season if it were not for campaign theatrics. The following are The Sun’s picks, in reverse order, for the most intriguing, bizarre and funny moments from the campaign trail:

5: One of the most must-see political ads came from former Arizona State Senator Pamela Gorman, who campaigned on a strong conservative platform in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 3rd Congressional district. In the 43-second spot, a voiceover opens by explaining, “This year a lot of folks think that this is our best shot at changing Congress. Of course that all depends on the caliber of our candidates.” The ad then features Gorman firing an assault rifle, a handgun and a Tommy gun, as the announcer describes her stances on the issues. Voters –– apparently –– did not find the ad as inspiring as she thought they would. Gorman lost the primary to Ben Quayle.

4: Though Alvin Greene, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from South Carolina, won the Democratic primary, he could not name a “single specific thing he’d done to campaign,” according to The Washington Post. At the time, he only had $114 in his bank account and the only check he ever wrote was to cover the campaign-filing fee. During the primary, he did not own a cell-phone and used the computer at the public library “two or three times a week” to check his e-mail. He did not start a website, plant any lawn signs and had no one else employed as campaign staff. He has also since been indicted on felony obscenity charges that alleged he showed pornography to a University of South Carolina student last November.

3: Of all the political races, one would be hard-pressed to find a platform more peculiar than Kesha Rogers’, winner of the Democratic primary for Texas’ 22nd Congressional district. Rogers, who campaigned on the slogan “Save NASA. Impeach Obama,” has stated that President Obama should be impeached and Congress should divert major funding toward colonizing Mars. She also consistently argued along the campaign trail that the U.S. should be prepared for an imminent war against “the British Empire,” which she added “has been the dominant force behind the destruction of sovereign nation states,” according to The Texas Tribune. Still, she garnered 52 percent of the Democratic primary vote.

2: There is certainly not enough space here to detail all of the oddities that have emerged over the months from Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, but suffice it to say that there have been many. For one, she said on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” that she “dabbled into witchcraft,” and though she never “joined a coven” one of her “first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar.” The statement caused so much public backlash that O’Donnell was ultimately forced to release a commercial that opened with her endearingly telling the audience that she was “not a witch.” O’Donnell has also drawn attention for her campaign on MTV in the mid-1990’s against masturbation and misleading claims that she made about attending the University of Oxford. Most recently, O’Donnell was in the news again, after a 28-year-old man claimed in a Gawker story that he had a one-night stand with her three years ago on Halloween.

1: The winner of the oddest moment on the campaign trail though goes to Republican candidate Carly Fiorina’s commercial in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat from California. In the spot, Fiorina compares her opponent Tom Campbell to a “demon sheep” and portrays him as a man dressed in an evil sheep costume. The video cuts between images of real sheep grazing in and running through pastures and the “demon sheep” glancing menacingly at the camera with bright red eyes, as the voiceover describes Campbell’s shortcomings. The spot generated enough publicity that it helped Fiorina defeat Campbell in the Republican primary and led a spokesperson for the campaign to say that “it’s been touted as the most genius ad ever all the way down to the worst, but no matter what, people are talking about it … [we’re] very pleased.”

Original Author: Ben Gitlin