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So much for the afterglow: A history of CPAC straw poll whiffs, misses, and ‘seriously?’

By TBogg
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 14:27 EDT
Gary Bauer speaks to Fox News

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Freak Show has closed up shop after another year of dishing red meat to attendees who came to town with a dull gleam in their eyes and a three-pack of condoms in their wallet (purchased during the first G.W. Bush administration) and then left town with both still in place.

In between speeches from death merchant publicist Wayne LaPierre turning his guns on BENGHAZI! and health care reform and  The Great Northern Screech Owl trying out her Larry the Cable Guy routine for people who find Larry too erudite, conventioneers shuffled among assorted merchants and grifters who gave out conservative tchotchkes in exchange for email addresses which will then be traded between themselves like so many biker chicks, because ‘thar’s gold in them thar rubes.’

Since Amanda and Josh and Dave have had their whack at CPAC, I thought it would be informative to take a look at the list of CPAC Presidential Straw Poll winners over the years because it looks like a list of American Idol winners except, in the case of CPAC, every winner every year is pretty much Taylor Hicks. But a few caveats before we begin ….

First, CPAC had some off years so there are gaps between straw polls. Secondly, straw polls are highly unscientific and, unless controls have been put in place, participants can vote multiple times. Lastly, candidates sometimes bring in their fans to puff up their numbers figuring a straw poll win will boost their credibility (see, Bachmann, Michele, Ames straw poll). So, having established those as our  ground rules, let’s dig in:

  • 1976 – Ronald Reagan – Reagan had been on their wish list since his 1964 speech at the Republican Convention. However, that year, a damaged GOP lined up behind Gerald Ford. Did not end well.
  • 1980 – Ronald Reagan – Lights, camera, action! You’re on…
  • 1984 – Ronald Reagan – Incumbent, also: Republican Jesus. May never have been aware that he was re-elected.
  • 1986 – Jack Kemp – Kemp, a man so dull he makes Kelly Ayotte look like Sophia Vergara, always had a fan club. Come see us later, Jack.
  • 1987 – Jack Kemp – Passed over in ’88 for Poppy Bush AND Dan Quayle.  That had to leave a mark.
  • 1993 – Jack Kemp – Post- Poppy Bush regret.
  • 1995 – Phil Gramm – Never got the nod, but did lead the fight in gutting financial services regulations that led to the sub-prime apocalypse.
  • 1998 – Steve Forbes – Creepier looking Donald Trump, but with better hair. Then again, who doesn’t have better hair?
  • 2000 – George W. Bush – Won with an assist from Ralph Nader. (See inevitable argument in the comments)
  • 2006 – George Allen – Career went macaca.
  • 2007 – Mitt Romney – We love the rich guy.
  • 2008 – Mitt Romney – We still love the rich guy.
  • 2009 – Mitt Romney – We still really really love the rich guy.
  • 2010 – Ron Paul – The rise of Crazy Uncle Liberty (h/t Charles Pierce)
  • 2011 – Ron Paul – Bro-dudes are GO!
  • 2012 – Mitt Romney – Finally!  What….? He lost….?  You suck and you are terrible and I hate you, Mitt Romney.
  • 2013 – Rand Paul – The rise of Crazy Cousin Liberty
  • 2014 – Rand Paul – and he’s not Hillary!

As you have probably noticed, in four of the past five years the CPAC straw poll has been taken over by the libertarians who are the Scientologists of political parties. Therefore so you can probably pencil in Young Rand for the next two years  because, once you’re in that cult  you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.

Paul/Bitcoin 2106!

Christine O’Donnell is waving, not drowning in a sea of obscurity

By TBogg
Friday, March 7, 2014 17:34 EDT

If you haven’t been to any Arby’s ribbon-cutting ceremonies lately, you’re probably not aware that kooky zany senatorial novelty act Christine O’Donnell is still out there getting by on a smile, a girlish toss of the hair, and a refrigerator full of Arby-Q sauce packets You remember Christine O’Donnell? ‘Masturbation is adultery‘ Christine O’Donnell? ‘Witchcraft commitment-phobic‘ Christine O’Donnell? ‘Mice with human brains‘ Christine O’Donnell? ‘Evolution is a myth‘ Christine O’Donnell? ‘God talks to me‘ Christine…


Michele Bachmann jewsplains to U.S. Jews that they are buzzkilling her End Times dream date

By TBogg
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 22:56 EDT

Michele Bachmann (R-North Bedlam) is not very happy with American Jews. No siree, she most definitely is not. After all that American conservative evangelical Christians have done for The Chosen People, they persist in not choosing Republicans at the voting booth. C’mon, you guys! The Bible-thumpers are totally looking the…


Ross Douthat looks at gay marriage and wonders what’s love got to do with it

By TBogg
Sunday, March 2, 2014 12:47 EDT

That it’s only the thrill Of boy meeting girl Opposites attract - What’s Love Got To Do With It (Britten,Lyle) Ross Douthat is sad. And disheartened. And much like Lili von Schtupp: everything below the waist is probably ‘kaput’, based upon the historical record. Ross concedes that the gays have…


GOP Rep: Healthcare is just one drunken car crash away

By TBogg
Friday, February 28, 2014 19:57 EDT

Remember ‘Bubble Boy’ from Seinfeld? Everybody who lived in the town where Bubble Boy lived loved him because he suffered from an autoimmune  disease which forced him to live in a ‘bubble’. And living this way was supposed tomake sad and noble in that way that we always assume that…


Ronan Farrow is the manic pixie dreamcaster MSNBC’s Phil Griffin has been looking for

By TBogg
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 21:21 EDT

The Ronan Age began this week, not with a bang but with a whimper, as Daily with Ronan Farrow debuted Monday on MSNBC and already the accolades are rolling in as Politicos’ Dylan Byers reports: MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow, who has hosted three hours of daytime television so far in his…


Guy who can’t carry his own golf bag around makes gay handbag joke because … athletic.

By TBogg
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 14:39 EDT

Steve Elkington, who makes his living walking around on well manicured lawns whacking at a little white ball while a gallery of mostly white guys maintain complete  silence so as not to distract him from his athletic endeavors, is kind of unhappy that a gay is going to play in…


Sarah Palin’s Heavy Metal Grandma Show for animal killers is coming. You should be excited.

By TBogg
Saturday, February 22, 2014 16:18 EDT

Former John McCain novelty act and english-as-a-third-language-when-saying-stuff word mangler Sarah Palin has another new teevee show starting real soon. It is called Amazing America With Sarah Palin and it is the story of a small town girl who grew up and went to six or seven jucos and slightly bigger…


The long dark tea-time of the soul and lonely days and lonely nights of Ted Nugent

By TBogg
Thursday, February 20, 2014 21:34 EDT

Poor Ted Nugent is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, wango tango, cat scratch fever kind of a week. A member of the brain trust that is running Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign thought it would be a cool beans idea to invite the former Damn…


Peggy Noonan would like rich people to use their ‘inside voices’ when being dicks

By TBogg
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 16:17 EDT

It was just the other day when, with snow falling as gentle as Jesus’ dandruff, Peggy Noonan took up her quill and dashed off a few haiku over a pitcher of saki with a bourbon chaser: Full fat flake fell far To sleep on the rude pavement. Grraaawwwr. The shovel.…