Newt and Callista Gingrich cuddle with Dino Flintstone on the 2012 presidential campaign trail.
Now that Newt Gingrich has romped in the South Carolina Primary, I’m grateful that I hedged my bets this political season in my quest to get the 2012 Republican nominee for President to pose with Dino Flintstone.
As faithful “Culture Schlock” readers know, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney had waxed nostalgic about Dino while he was basking in the endorsement glow of New Hampshire’s junior U.S. Senator, Kelly Ayotte.
With the international media scrum outnumbering actual voters by 6:1, I boldly cornered Newt on New Hampshire Primary Day during his visit to the polls outside a Merrimack elementary school. Here’s how the conversation went down:
Me: Mr. Gingrich, it’s a proud New Hampshire tradition that whoever poses with Dino Flintstone, wins the Primary!
Newt: (smirks and poses) You just made that tradition up, didn’t you?
Mrs. Gingrich had no comment on Dino, despite her husband’s well-known fascination with dinosaurs (he used to have a T-Rex skull in his office) and wild animals.
New Hampshire Primary third place finisher Jon Huntsman takes a moment on the most important day of his life to bond with Dino.
I gave the same pitch to Jon Huntsman as he was rushing away from a series of radio interviews late in the afternoon on Primary Day. He humored me by posing, saying “Well, then, I guess I should be part of the tradition,” but I got the sense that he thought it was quicker to pose and move past me than to just say no. He was in a huge rush.
What do Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was recently serving sandwiches to NH voters, and former Guns 'N Roses lead guitarist Slash have in common? Apparently, nothing much. (Photos courtesy of Ilya Mirman).
Yesterday, the mainstream media focused on action figure model Kelly Ayotte‘s endorsement of Mitt Romney.
What reporters sadly missed was a candid exchange between photographer Ilya Mirman and Romney about musical tastes.
Romney was serving a tray of BLT sandwiches from Jackie’s Diner in downtown Nashua, NH, mere steps away from City Hall, where John F. Kennedy launched his 1960 campaign for president. Here’s how the conversation went down:
Ilya: “Governor – What’s your favorite Guns N’ Roses song?”
Mitt: “Let me think…[thinks for a couple seconds] You know, I couldn’t give you one…But what I can give you is a great sandwich here! They’re raw and unleashed!”
Ilya: [takes a small piece of bacon] “Thank you!”
The “Raw and Unleashed” reference is to a Saturday Night Live skit that makes fun of Romney for being too boring.
Romney was smart enough and honest enough not to say “Welcome to the Jungle” just to impress Ilya.
Trading in Barbie's Dreamhouse for Capitol Hill: Does Sen. Kelly Ayotte merit her own doll yet? (New Hampshire Magazine cartoon by Brad Fitzpatrick).
Politicians are known for skirting the issues, but here’s a bizarre case of a Senator scared to comment on a skirt.
An itsy-bitsy Barbie-sized skirt that — so far — carries no scandals.
To be fair, it was the staff of U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that is running away from her new action figure and my questions about the appropriateness/eeriness of Republican groupies dressing the toy in provocative outfits. For all I know, the Senator herself might roll her eyes or smirk at the surreality of it all.
But as I wrote in this month’s New Hampshire Magazine, the Herobuilders toy company has done the Ayotte staff a HUGE favor. If I were an Ayotte event planner, I’d want to know who my doll-fetish constituents were — and be very careful about where I sat them at the next fundraising dinner.
(As an aside, I remain a huge fan of illustrator Brad Fitzpatrick, who also did the cartoon for my piranha pedicure column in NH Magazine.)