To the one thirteenth of all Americans who watched the latest GOP debate, congratulations on surviving the political equivalent of the 24 hours of Le Mans. You just climbed Campaign Everest. Strapped to a pair of debates. Or to be more precise; a pair of mind-numbing, marathon, four and a half hour, endurance-test, butt-fall-asleep debates.
The debate wasn’t long for just for the 15 candidates and viewing public, but also the CNN correspondents, many who needed a shave by night’s end. It was the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon of debates, only later in September with the cause a mite less altruistic. All that we missed were guest appearances by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.
A few surprises: Jeb Bush wants Margaret Thatcher on the $10 bill. Marco Rubio has the sense of humor of an end table. George Pataki is tall. Carly Fiorina is tougher than a $2 steak. Rand Paul is a reluctant Republican and Donald Trump knows people who are very very impressed with Donald Trump.
Folks often ask comedians whom we want as president in terms of material. The thing is, we learn so much about these people there’s always some post to hang a joke onto. Or two. Or 10. But these 14 guys and one gal, (plus Jim Gilmore, when they let him play) are the best collection of humor producers in the history of presidential campaigns. Who knew the Reagan Library would host such a laugh riot?
Let’s review the zanier moments of the GOP debates.
- In a transparent overture to liquor lobbyists, Lindsey Graham said the first thing he plans to do as president is start drinking more.
- Kudos to whoever thought of lining up the participants of the Kid’s Table Debate according to height.
- Apparently, the party’s unified opposition to the concept of global warming also obviates the use of air- conditioning.
- Jeb Bush and Donald Trump bonding. Two of the whitest humans on the face of the planet, low-fiving. And they wonder why Republicans have problems with minority voters.
- From the way Donald Trump mugged while other people spoke, pretty obvious that in a former life he was a facial expression coach on Mack Sennett’s movie lot.
- To call Carly Fiorina stone-faced is to diminish the impermeable density of rocks. And what was the deal with the eye fluttering? She looked like one of those dolls that blinks when it’s tilted and she was on a teeter-totter.
- Graham warned America that unless we are willing to follow Strom Thurmond’s example of having 4 kids after the age of 67, our country may need immigration. A mental image nobody needed.
- Bush apologized to his mom for smoking pot. Wish he could do the same to my mom.
- Donald Trump telling Rand Paul that he never made fun of his looks and there was plenty of material there. Oh, snap.
- Ben Carson’s slow deliberate manner of speaking makes you wonder if he’s dipping into his own prescription bag.
- But the funniest thing that happened on Wednesday was pretty much all of the assembled consider the number one threat to America- Planned Parenthood.
Follow that, Democrats.
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed comic