Tag Archives: NH Primary

Hedging My Bets: Newt Gingrich and Dino Flintstone

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?

Me: Absolutely!

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.

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Filed under Dino Flintstone, Election 2012, politics

Republicans in Tights: The Superhero Primary

If you could be any superhero in the universe, who would you be and why?

That’s the question my nine-year-old son, Ari, just asked most of the Republican presidential candidates — in the spirit of the kind of deep pop cultural conversations that we have all the time.

Except that Ari is a much tougher interviewer with me, usually demanding to know my Five Most Favorite and Five Least Favorite characters across various movies, TV shows, comic books and literature.

Sometimes, the discussion veers off into villains, as well. For the record, no one tops any of the three Catwomen (Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether) from the 1966 Batman series.

This might come across as a cute kids video, but if you’re curious what it all means politically, please check out my “Republicans in Tights: Behind the Scenes of the Superhero Primary” column at The Atlantic.

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Filed under 1966 Batman References, Election 2012, The Superhero Primary

Cheerleader Mitt Romney

Substitute your own last name for Romney’s and try to imagine yourself leading a similar song.

Of course, having a large ego is a prerequisite for being President. Would you want someone who believes they are the dumbest or weakest one in the room?

But egos aside, it looks like the candidate is genuinely having fun here — like he’s coming up with the campfire song list for Camp Romney.

Coming to Lake Winnipesaukee  soon?

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Mitt Flintstone: Does the next Commander-in-Chief need to know about cartoons?

With the world watching, Mitt Romney makes eye contact with Dino.

Mitt Romney holds Dino like he's doing a laundry detergent commercial.

Mitt Romney boldly looks off into the distance, giving Dino hope about the future.

Mitt Romney can’t catch a break.

New York Magazine mocks him for never having a hair out of place, recently kicking it up a notch with “The Many Hair Styles of Mitt Romney” slideshow (they all look the same to me, no Hillary Clinton headbands in the mix).

TIME Magazine just came out with its future Mitt Romney Presidential Library contribution: the WHY DON’T THEY LIKE ME? cover.

And “Cheerleader Mitt,” an innocuous YouTube clip I just posted of Mitt leading a cheer about himself, has attracted some hostile commentary only seconds after going live.

I’m not ready to bestow the coveted “Culture Schlock” endorsement on any candidates yet, but I don’t understand the intensity of the “Anyone But Mitt” movement.  He is one of the few Republicans running in the New Hampshire Primary who is NOT a nutcake. And at a recent campaign stop outside a local diner, I found Romney to be extremely likeable.

He was handing out free BLT sandwiches and posing for pictures with voters, basking in the afterglow of U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte‘s endorsement.  I don’t eat BLTs and can’t easily be bribed (it takes at least a lamb skewer to get my vote). On a lark, I stuck a stuffed animal in Romney’s face and asked him to pose. In a deep over-the-top newscaster voice, I said: “Governor, how about a picture of you and Dino Flintstone?”

He paused quizzically and then just rolled with it. “Ah, the Flintstones…” he sighed as if he were reminiscing about an old girlfriend. “I remember watching the very first episode!”  As you can see from the photos above (taken on regular shutter speed, not the sports setting), Romney lingered a bit with Dino and seemed to enjoy the moment.  Surely, it was a heckuva lot more preferable than answering another question on ObamaCare or RomneyCare.

My friend Ilya asked him a tough question about Guns N’ Roses.  And to Romney’s credit, he didn’t pull a Hillary Clinton “Number One Yankees Fan” moment. He admitted he wasn’t that familiar with the music and offered Ilya a BLT sandwich as a consolation prize.  Had he picked a random song like “Welcome to the Jungle,” just to have an answer, it would have been pandering and just plain embarrassing.

I learned this the hard way.

In Sixth Grade, I used to doodle the AC/DC and Led Zeppelin logos on my notebooks and grocery bag book covers because I thought it would look cool. If I could go back into time and change one thing in my life, it would be that. My friends would have still respected me if I had scribbled Steely Dan and Foreigner. And if they didn’t, that would have been an invaluable life lesson.

But back to Romney.  Do I think people should vote for him because he’s now trying extra hard to be fun and bantery on the campaign trail?

Of course not. But if I were putting in grueling 14-18 hour days shaking hands with sweaty strangers, I think having a sense of humor about it would keep me sane.

Besides, I kinda want a Commander-in-Chief who has seen every Flintstones episode.

AND IN OTHER FLINTSTONES NEWS…

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Filed under Election 2012, Flintstones, Political Satire

Star-Naming, Lunar Real Estate & the Best Novelty Holiday Gift of All

Sure, these certificates might be impressive framed on your office wall, but nothing compares to an official presidential ballot, which can be personalized for the history books for a mere $1,000.

Looking for that Christmas or Chanukah gift for that special someone who seemingly has everything?

Next time consider an official spot on the New Hampshire Presidential Primary ballot!

Oh, you won’t find it in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog.

The filing deadline is over, but let’s see how the cost of a vanity presidential ballot — unframed — fares up against some other popular gag gifts worth showing off:

Check out below for the Best Advertising Deal of the Century:

Who says that President Barack Obama is running unopposed in the NH Primary? (click pic for larger image)

AGAIN, THE NH FILING DEADLINE FOR 2012 HAS CLOSED but why not put a 2016 ballot on layaway?

Also, check out Ballot Access News for filing deadlines/costs for other state ballots. Certainly, a Colorado or Louisiana ballot would look just as handsome above your bar!

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Wonder Woman for President

Overdue for a CNN fashion shoot, the wardrobe of political rabblerouser Vermin Supreme is best described as "Occupy Wall Street" meets "Project Runway."

Only one presidential candidate out of the 44 on the New Hampshire Primary ballot wears a Wonder Woman cape on the campaign trail.

Democrat Vermin Supreme, who’s run for the Oval Office since 1992, brushed off the cultural significance of this, telling me: “We have no idea what’s really inside Rick Perry’s closet, do we?”

You can read all about the Wonder Woman cape (and some rather important ballot access stuff) in my latest story for The Hill.

Oh, and in case you weren’t aware of the original Amazonian Princess taking a shot at the White House, she was endorsed by Gloria Steinem and Ms. Magazine back in 1972.

What would a Wonder Woman vs. Richard Nixon debate have looked like? For that matter, what was Nixon's position on the "Last Frontier" of Body Hair?

No word yet on Mr. Supreme’s position on the complete rebranding of Wonder Woman, which includes getting rid of her classic costume for a horrendous spandex outfit.

“She’s been locked into pretty much the exact same outfit since her debut in 1941,” comic book writer Michael Straczynski recently told The New York Times. “If you’re going to make a statement about bringing Wonder Woman into the 21st century, you need to be bold and you need to make it visual. I wanted to toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility.”

As bold and as tough as Vermin Supreme?

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Filed under Election 2012, Political Satire, politics, Wonder Woman

EXCLUSIVE: Mitt Romney does NOT have a favorite Guns N’ Roses song

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.

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