After months abroad and a long ocean steamer voyage home, I find the best way to return to normalcy is to spend another five days waylaid and to do nothing other than watch Fox News. This is especially pertinent during late August, when the news of product recalls have been lost, and the War on Christmas is still only portentous. It’s during this nethertime when Fox News really shines, this space betwixt & between when Fox is able to probe AMERICA. But watching Fox News everyday leads to the surprising conclusion that Americans, left and right, are dissatisfied with their presidential candidates. Mon Dieu! While Dash was far away it seemed as if both the Democrats and Republicans had their best slate of candidates in years, ranging from the “young George Gervin” Barack Obama to the star of central casting Mitt Romney and the king of unintentional comedy Rudi (Can’t Fail) Guiliani. Then again, with yesterday’s salad’s own Joe Biden receiving scant media attention, its unsurprising that American’s are pining for a new hope.

So herewith, I bring you a list of potential candidates that the braintrust has spent at least 2 hours thinking about, a list of candidates who will make America proud.

THE I SHOULD ALREADY BE IN THE RACE CANDIDATE: AL GORE

Pros: Gore is the most beloved presidential runner-up since Adlai Stevenson. He has instant name recognition as the star of summer 2006’s best action movie, and his powerpoint skillz are known to “pay the billz.” He’s become a prolific author, and his ability to tell it like it is is unmatched by anyone not named Bill O’Reilly. Loved by all liberals–especially Hollywood types with lots of money.

Cons: Visual similarity to William H. Taft. Also, the idea that “Gore is the New Nixon” has been tarnished by Bush’s increasingly Nixonian White House.

THE “NEW YORK” CANDIDATE: RABBI ZALMAN LEIB TEITELBAUM
Pros: As spiritual leader of the 180px-rebbezalmanteitelbaum.jpgWilliamsburg branch of Satmar, Rabbi Zalman has the inside track in the Satmar succession crisis, at least in the eyes of New Yorks fastest growing voting bloc, Hipstas! Rabbi Zalman has shown his commitment to education as head of the Queen’s Yeshiva, once ranked in Roll Call as the nation’s premier educational facility [citation needed]. The 15th most prominent Rabbi according to Newsweek (the popular companion to People’s 50 Most Beautiful People), Zalman is able to mobilize thousands of voters at will. Rabbi Zalman is also incredibly dapper, with a tremendous ability to rock a hat.

Cons: Unclear whether or not rival Chabad’s unpopular presence in Iowa will help or hurt. The circumstances of the Williamsburg bet din’s coronation of Zalman as head of Satmar bring unwelcome comparisons to Bush v. Gore. Also, second language of Yiddish not considered as important as Spanish by most Americans as it would seem that the US has done a better job patrolling the borders to Yiddishland than it has to Mexico. Occasional lapses into bad fashion (note the white socks and black shoes).

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I saw this on The New Republic blog yesterday and decided it needed to be shared with the good readers of Yesterday’s Salad. Here’s the 1982 single, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” that could easily serve as Barry Obama’s campaign theme song (Mandrake will have more on this topic as soon as he returns from his big game hunt in the dark continent).

Oh, and in the world of further ridiculousness, here’s a link to an article in The New York Times written by Mary-Kate Olsen. Sigh…another win for Fox News.

2008 Watch: Barack vs… Tom?

February 13, 2007

It happens every primary. The front runner(s) get all the attention and media legitimacy. Inevitably, one of the ignored candidates throws a tantrum and/or overreaches to establish themselves in the first tier. Ladies and gentleman, we may have our first big credibility overreach of the 2008 cycle:

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has challenged Senator Barack Obama to a debate. Vilsack hopes to face off with the Illinois Democrat before union activists in Iowa later this month to talk about “central issues confronting America.”

No other candidates, just Barack and Tom, mensch vs mensch. Who needs the front runner, or any of the various other candidates who are at least as credible as Vilsack? Governor Vilsack is such a forgetable figure, in fact, that I’m not even going to bother adding his picture to this post. In fact, I could refer to Vilsack as “Guy Whitey Corngood” for the remainder of the post and probably nobody would know the difference. But the story gets stranger:

Vilsack is scheduled to participate in a debate sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Carson City, Nevada, on February 21st.

Obama is skipping the debate, saying he’s committed to campaigning in Iowa that day.

Vilsack suggested that he could fly to Iowa after the Nevada debate to attend a similar forum in Iowa with Obama

Ok, sure. Obama is missing the Carson City, NV debate, so Vilsack just wants to make sure he gets a chance to face off with the senator from Illinois. One problem: the Nevada event isn’t a debate. It is a candidate forum, so Vilsack would not get the chance to engage Barack there regardless.

Our take? The only thing this lends credibility to is the conspiracy theory that Clinton got Vilsack to run just to run interference for her.

obamaman.jpgThere has been quite a bit of talk regarding the chances that the senator from Illinois will face a serious attempt on his life. He reminds many Americans of the dead Kennedy brothers in his style and vision (note: Teddy may be dead on the inside, but his corporeal form is still ticking). In particular, America has not seen a politician with the transformative potential of Obama since RFK. So, naturally, somebody is going to take a shot at him, right? “Hogwash,” we harumph as we readjust our monocle. The Kennedy comparisons are mostly invalid. As any serious student of history knows, Jack and Bobby were killed by Cuban ex pats in coordination with the CIA and other factions that sought a more hard line policy against Castro. Therefore, so long as Obama does not reveal his positions on Cuba, he will be fine.

If anyone is going to eat a bullet this cycle, it’s going to be Joe Biden. Not only is America not ready for his bold vision of a federalized Iraq, overdone metaphors, or widespread Bidenocracy, but that dude is a serious ass. There have just got to be a bunch of people who want to see that guy take a magic bullet or ten. Sic semper Biden.

Primary Primer: Democrats

February 5, 2007

A quick overview for you political novices out there.

History:

Democratic primaries have tended to be chaotic, no-holds barred affairs. Front runners get targeted early and often don’t make it to the finish line. 2000 and 2004 were atypical historically, but perhaps they represent a new trend towards placidity. While the West Wing scenario is implausibly tumultuous, it is not that far off from real world experiences in 1972, 1984, 1988, and 1992. Will 2008 revert to the mean? Or do Democrats have better control over their process?

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Previously on 2008 Watch…

“And, From all appearances, it seems that Biden as set his sights on a South Carolina strategy. Like a true politician, Biden has been pandering hard, attempting to woo Southerners with his off-the-cuff racism.”

–L.P. Mandrake, 1/30/07

And now, the thrilling continuation

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

–Joe Biden on Barack Obama, 1/31/07