Let’s just put Meredith Viera in charge and get this over with, shall we? A million debates and we still need voters to tell us that Newt Gingrich is a nut job? It would be so much easier – and cheaper – if we just made this primary thing into reality TV show. Something like a hybrid of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, American Idol and American’s Next Iron Chef – we can charge people to text in their votes and sell commercial time (Lowe’s still has some money to spend after pulling out of All-American Muslim, right?). Talk about capitalism at work! Come to think of it we can even use some of those contestants as fillers – a little (okay, maybe a lot) Mario Batali here, and a Geoffrey Zakarian in the competition would give the candidates a little perspective. Each week they send them to a different state for a challenge – butter sculpting at the Iowa State Fair or a square dance at the South Carolina State Capitol – and then there’s a local fare tasting and a foreign and domestic policy quiz at the end. I’m perfectly happy to let Meredith and pal Alton Brown tally the votes and send someone home every week – the two finalists get to go to the convention.
Who’s with me?
How many platitudes, resolutions and predictions can you cram into one January blog post? The mind reels. But times are changing and I can’t stop thinking about it because it all seems so overwhelming good and bad – it’s exhausting to move so constantly from depression to enthusiasm to panic in sub-zero weather. Coffee. Wine. Cupcakes. Stale Christmas cookies. I’ve tried them all. And I just read on the Internet – on Science Daily, no less – that people who write about their emotions regularly are more likely to lose weight. Seriously. So I put down my cupcake and here I am, typing away on my fabulous new computer on which I should be writing anyway because, well, what else am I going to do while the plumber is here fixing my bathroom? Unfortunately the article does not give me a word count to reach before I can return to my cupcake.
But seriously, 2012 is bound to be a doozy one way or the other, right? The Iowa Caucuses alone constitute a shot over the bow. And even though that is indeed a link to the Daily Show’s coverage of the caucuses, pretty much any coverage of it is hilarious. I’m not rushing out the door this year to take in the New Hampshire primary scramble this year, though, oddly tempting as a Newt Gingrich sighting might be. Back in 2008, I spent the day after the caucuses tracking down Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
I watched Bill and Chelsea Clinton, wearing pained expressions as they watched Hillary try to recover from her loss to Obama the night before.
I witnessed McCain’s last retail style appearance at a Hollis, NH, pharmacy in which I was one of a handful of people who saw Warren Rudman endorsing McCain. The tiny store was so jammed with press people and equipment there was no room for actual voters – Cindy wisely stayed on the straight talk express bus. after that, it was all Town Hall style venues. I also spent some quality time observing CNN’s John King at work in the still-empty country pharmacy as he waited for McCain to appear. This was before he was promoted to the role of smart screen guru in the studio – I recall being in awe of his ability to talk on a cell phone, look at a Blackberry and type on his laptop all at once. Even just 4 years ago that kind of multitasking was novel stuff. Still, he took time out to chat about the momentous events in Iowa and was relaxed and personable even as he continued to work and the room slowly filled with people around him.It was probably the best January morning I have ever spent anywhere. Mitt, Rick and Newt could not hope to come close.