November 4, 2012

An Election Full of Laughs

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Political commentators and insiders across the ideological spectrum have often decried this year’s presidential campaign as a drawn-out, boring and intensively negative exercise in democracy. But despite the endless attack ads, debates and political rallies, the campaign season was filled with plenty of moments of laughs and levity. With the election (thankfully) nearly upon us, The Sun is here to recap the best comedic moments of the campaign.

Rafalca Romney

During the summer doldrums of the campaign, the star of the Romney family often wasn’t the candidate himself. Instead, it was Rafalca, a horse co-owned by Ann Romney, that stole the show. The horse, which competed in dressage in the Summer Olympic Games in London, was used by Obama supporters to illustrate Romney’s wealth and to paint him as being out of touch with average Americans. It also led us to ask important questions, among them: “What the heck is dressage?” Unfortunately, Rafalca’s celebrity was cut short after she failed to qualify for the final round of the Olympics and led the U.S. to a sixth-place finish. Still, her cultural influence persists: We did, for instance, notice an above-average number of horse costumes this Halloween.

The Undecided Voter

This election is often described as a choice between two candidates that offer starkly different visions for the future. With such a big contrast between Obama and Romney, this leads us to wonder who, exactly, are these undecided voters people keep talking about? This election has droned on for nearly two years, so how have some people still not figured out who they’re going to vote for? Saturday Night Live attempted to answer this question in perhaps its best sketch of the 2012 election season. In the skit, the show’s actors portray voters that say they need the candidates to answer some pretty tough questions before they can earn their vote. Such questions include: What are the names of the two people running? Who is the president right now? And can women vote? Having never actually met an undecided voter in person, we can only assume that these are some pretty accurate portrayals.

Invisible Obama

If you give Clint Eastwood a microphone, his gravelly voice is bound to give gravitas to whatever he’s saying. But if you give Eastwood a microphone and a chair, then you get his speech at the Republican National Convention. Speaking just before Mitt Romney, the Dirty Harry star stole the spotlight with a rambling, often incoherent conversation between him and a stool intended to serve a stand-in for President Obama. Delivered in prime time on the final night of the convention, the speech immediately generated puzzlement, then incredulousness and finally laughter from the millions watching on TV. It spawned — what else? — a parody Twitter account and was mocked by late night hosts. Eastwood was unapologetic, and there’s no doubt his speech will be one of most-remembered parts of the campaign. Really, you just need to watch it yourself in its entirety.

Herman Cain’s Pokémon Speech

A Tea Party favorite with no political background, Herman Cain entered the race as a likable outsider brimming with conservative ideas. Among them was his ubiquitous 9-9-9 tax plan, which we’re pretty sure he got from Sim City. Despite some bizarre political positions and campaign tactics, Cain’s performance in the debates (which, by the 20th time around, seemed like way too many) and a series of straw poll victories vaulted him to front runner status. However, America was denied a Hermain Cain presidency after a series of allegations of sexual misconduct and a perceived lack of understanding of foreign policy took the Cain Train off the rails. But Cain didn’t leave the race with a whimper, choosing instead to go out with a bang. In his final speech in his hometown of Atlanta, Cain quoted lines from  Pokémon: The Movie 2000 that he had featured throughout his campaign. “I believe these words came from the Pokémon movie. ‘Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. There’s a mission just for you and me.’” While Cain may not have been able to name the leader of “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan,” the former pizza executive wasn’t without wisdom, either.

Big Bird

Like in most election years, this Halloween’s top costume is rooted in one of the 2012 election’s most humorous moments. In the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, Romney said he would work to cut the federal deficit by shrinking the budget wherever possible — including cutting the federal subsidy to PBS. ”I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS,” Romney said. “I love Big Bird … But I’m not going to … keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.” The comments sparked an immediate backlash online from supporters of the children’s show character, leading to the creation of a parody Twitter account and becoming a talking point of the Obama campaign.

Original Author: David Marten