As the US election cycle begins to wrap up and reports are starting to come in from across the country perhaps it is time to take a look back at the truly memorable moments the US 2012 Election Candidates have graced us with over the past months. This election cycle has set a new record both in total expenditures by the two candidates as well as in how divisive many issues have truly been. Not only did it have gotcha moments for both candidates but it also had a terrifying October surprise from one of the worst storms in US history. From the bizarre to the unbelievable, from the inspiring to the downright nasty here are the top 10 most memorable moments from the 2012 Election Candidates.
10. Trump is at it Again
Donald Trump didn’t make all his money by passing up opportunities so the multi-millionaire knew when to cash in on the torrent of popular (or should we say populist?) disapproval with just the faintest hint of racism that constituted the Birther Movement, i.e. people that claimed President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in Kenya and was therefore not legally allowed to hold the office of POTUS. The movement sizzled down when Obama released the long awaited ‘long form birth certificate’, coincidentally in the same week when he also gave the order to kill Osama Bin Laden. But Trump was not easily dissuaded. In October 2012 he stepped into the limelight once more demanding Obama release his School records, in exchange for which Trump would give 5 million dollars to a charity of the president’s choice. Obama played it cool and told a late night host that this whole rivalry dates back to when ‘he and Donald were growing up together in Kenya’.
9. Fly me to the Moon
One of the Funniest moments of the Republican primaries was when professional conservative institution and amateur wife swapper Newt Gingrich revealed his great plan for America. To hell with Iran, two wars and a crippling deficit, when Newt will be president America will have a moon base within a decade! This declaration left everybody baffled beyond belief. Soon after, Newt dropped out of the race and back on the surface of the Earth when it became clear that he stood no chance in the primaries.
8. Herman Cain
For a brief second, Herman Cain entertained the fantasy of becoming America’s second black president. But the Godfather’s Pizza CEO came with a tax plan right out of Simcity, sexual scandals and an over-the-top attitude that made Newt Gingrich look like Mitt Romney. Everything that Herman Cain did he did with style and panache. He could have maybe used a little dignity as well…
7. Joe Biden
While we’re on the subject of a missing dignity, Joe Biden’s performance in the vice-presidential debate was at once fantastic and terrifying. For one he mopped the floor with Counter-candidate Paul Ryan but he did it in a direct, grandpa-knows-best way that sent conservatives fuming. His performance was unbelievable and unexpected especially as it came after…
6. Debate of the Living Dead
…the First Presidential debate where one candidate and a half showed up. It was unclear what happened but it was clear that the President was lacking Braaaainsss… Obama showed up as if half awoke and barely put up a fight. Mitt Romney won the debate fair and square but everybody was left wondering what had happened to Obama. Comedians mocked the president incessantly over the next few days and although the VP debate and the next two debates were more evenly matched, people are still puzzled by the President’s performance in the first one.
5. Paul Ryan Works Out
Paul Ryan had several controversial moments during the elections. The VP candidate showed up late at a soup kitchen and washed some clean pots for a photo op, suggested that FEMA be privatized a few weeks before one of the worst hurricanes in US history and so on but possibly his most memorable moment is his ‘beefcake’ photo-op that surfaced on-line with Ryan lifting and squeezing with the best of them. Women and gay men took notice but unfortunately so did the press, turning this photo shoot into a laugh track slideshow.
4. Clint Eastwood debates a Chair
As if the regular debates weren’t funny enough, during the Republican National Convention, the Man with No Name made a surprise appearance flexing his conservative muscle. Eastwood had done a Superbowl half-time commercial for the Obama campaign and was lambasted by conservatives so he showed up at the RNC to make things right. Unfortunately he spent his time on the stage debating a chair that was supposed to represent Obama. However, Clint’s age and his insistence to stare at the chair made for an uncomfortably hilarious few minutes for everybody around.
3. Obama Lives!
If the first debate was the President’s dead man walking performance, the second debate was his chance to shine and the third debate his chance to dance. Obama launched a few torpedo zingers against Romney’s battleship and made fun of the governor for his stance on increasing the military no matter what. The now infamous horses and bayonets comment made conservatives scowl and liberals jump with joy but independents were left indifferent by it and little changed in the polls.
2. Bipartisan Bromance
The ‘October Surprise’ that was hurricane Sandy meant a big boost for the Democratic campaign. While Romney was busy buying groceries and distributing them to supporters to give back as ‘relief’ then pressuring the red cross to take them, Obama was touring the Jersey Shore with Republican Governor Chris Christie a staunch supporter of Mitt Romney who couldn’t have enough praise for the President’s response to hurricane Sandy. Throw in the support of New York City mayor Bloomberg, and Obama can be said to have gained quite a bit from the storm of the year. Enough to have conspiracy theorists whispering about weather control devices.
1. Romney Gaffes
Mitt Romney seems like the perfect man to become president. He’s white and comes from money, he’s rich and made a lot of money himself and he’s a conservative with (at least during his time as governor) liberal leanings. He could have been president (at this point he could still be quite easily) with no contest if he could just keep his mouth shut. Romney’s first gaffe was the result of a leaked secretly filmed recording of Romney calling 47% of Americans moochers that will vote for Obama no matter what. The tape enraged the voting public but strangely all was forgotten in the wake of Obama’s disastrous debate performance. The second debate brought the ‘binders full of women’ line and the list goes on… Regardless of how the election goes, history will remember Mitt Romney as a gaffemaster extraordinaire as well as someone so morally flexible that he could take all the sides of an issue without anybody noticing. But then again, those are highly sought after skills in a negotiator-in-chief.
Regardless who winds the presidency, one thing is clear: From the hilarious Republican primaries to the gaffes and fumbles of the debates this election cycle will be one to remember for years to come.