While most of America is focused on TODAY’S election, WaPo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Gene Weingarten has a different idea. Barack Obama’s whole campaign is based on the word “Forward” and Gene does the exact opposite. He decides to go back in time and walk us through every presidential election for which he has been alive. Oh great. A guy as old as Gene probably can’t WAIT to wistfully reminisce on the good ‘ol days of the Bull Moose Party.
Gene begins in 1956 with Eisenhower vs Stevenzzzzz. Who in their right mind gives a rip about this? It’s the FIRST example Gene gives and I’m already bored to tears. We have THIRTEEN more to go…We’ll just fast forward through this piece and hit some highlights. For example, in 1968, Gene has one takeaway from the presidential election was that “you could get a whole lid of marijuana for 15 bucks.” The price couldn’t have gone up TOO much because Gene appears to be smoking more and more with each column he writes.
Moving up to the 90’s, Gene writes, “1996, Clinton vs. Dole. Remember this one? Me neither. “2000, Bush vs. Gore. This was the first election in which I had a national column. Demographically analyzing county-by-county election returns, I reported my scientific conclusion that this was a ‘hicktory,’ or a victory for the hicks.” Gene! I JUST defended you over your bias against Southerners! Come on!
Finally, Gene writes about the previous presidential election. “2008, Obama vs. McCain. In this election, America broke a barrier once thought insurmountable, as people from all walks of life transcended their differences and came together to elect a president who has dunked a basketball.” This is partially funny, but the damage had been done. The piece has already gone on and on.
And the worst part about it? It reads like storytime from my grandpa, stinking of Black Velvet and cigar smoke and telling me about “Way back when…”