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It's Happening At The Zoo--I Do Believe It (With Apologies to Paul Simon)
on November 29, 2012
Calvin Trillin is at it again, covering the 2012 presidential campaign in rime. While I suspect most readers would agree that he will never be in the league with Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash-- sometimes his lines get a little forced but they of course do finally rime-- Mr. Trillin is quite good at covering practically all that happened in one of the most god-awful campaigns in recent history. A Rip Van Winkle awaking the day after the presidential election would get a pretty accurate account of the circus or zoo (either metaphor works quite nice-- and forgive me-- would suffice) that the campaign became from reading DOGFIGHT. And there is a very good chance that Mr. Van Winkle would wish that he had remained asleep.
Here are some of my favorites of Mr. Trillin's letter bombs in verse:
As in DECIDING THE NEXT DECIDER, he reminds us again that the people on the Sunday shows are "Sabbath Gasbags."
On Mike Huckabee:
"But would he run? He'd hinted that he might,
Then said he had no stomach for the fight.
(Although the actual stomach he'd once shed
Was starting once again to get widespread.)"
On Michelle Bachmann:
"Emerged as Palin lite--or even lighter. " [a scary thought.]
On Donald Trump:
"Gas-filled as if by some gigantic pump."
On Rick Perry:
"With even more impressive hair than Kerry" but Texans
"The space beneath the hair, they say, is airy."
On Herman Cain:
"His ignorance is not what did him in.
No, Cain's campaign was sabotaged by sin."
On Newt Gingrich:
He is such an easy target. Trillin says he has the moral standards of a tick and says he
"Just floated away like a hot air balloon."
On Rick Santorium:
"We'll never find another man
Who's holier than thou."
On Ron Paul:
"So he won't do flip-flops. He long ago flipped."
On Mitt Romney:
(Of course Mitt gets most of Mr. Trillin's bombs since he eventually emerges as the Republican candidate, but this is my favorite:)
"Reveal himself? No, Mitt would not be forced;
The humanizing had to be outsourced.
And so Ann Romney, Mitt's appealing bride,
Proclaimed there was a human being inside
This mannequin. Of this she seemed assured.
No details though. We'd have to take her word."
There isn't much for President Obama to do, but his performance in the first debate with Romney is worth quoting:
"The President seemed listless all the while--
Less certain of the points that he would share
And wishing he were anyplace but there."
Finally, Mr. Trillin gets my thanks and gratitude for calling out the neocons for being "draft dodgers all."
So until 2016, we bide this astute observer of our political zoos a fond farewell.