[Vision2020] Republican Truth or Dare

Art Deco art.deco.studios at gmail.com
Sat Feb 25 09:27:59 PST 2012

 [image: The New York Times] <http://www.nytimes.com/>

February 24, 2012
Republican Truth or Dare By GAIL

I know you’re extremely excited about the latest developments in the
Republican presidential primaries. As a public service, I am ready to
answer all your questions.

* Is it true that a giant cat in Wisconsin saved the life of its owner by
giving her the Heimlich maneuver?*

You see, this is the way rumors get started. I believe you are talking
about Amy Jung of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., who is not a candidate for the
Republican presidential nomination. However, the story about Pudding, her
21-pound cat, has gone viral since it was first reported by Samantha
Hernandez in The Door County Advocate.

Jung adopted Pudding from the local Humane Society. Just a few hours after
the cat joined the family, his new mistress suffered a seizure while
sleeping. According to Jung, Pudding sat on her chest in an attempt to wake
her, hit her face with his paw, bit her nose until she was aroused and then
ran to her son’s room to summon help.

* Wow, where can I find a similar 21-pound cat to monitor my health in the
late-night hours?*

I would suggest that we reserve judgment on this story until we see if
Pudding jumps on top of sleeping people and bites their noses even when
they are not in imminent danger.

Also, I believe we were talking about the Republican primaries.

* O.K. Recently, Mitt Romney said that his father once trained to be a
carpenter and was able to “take a handful of nails, stick them in his mouth
and then, you know, spit them out, pointy end forward.” This is almost as
good as the story of Pudding the cat. Is it true?*

This was when Romney was attempting to counter all the good publicity Rick
Santorum got from talking about his grandfather the coal miner with
enormous hands. You’d think that candidates would have gotten over this
desperate attempt to produce a working-class root after the political
demise of John Edwards, son of a millworker.

I made some calls about the spitting story and was surprised to discover
how few carpenters actually deal with hammers and nails these days. The
best I could come up with was: “It might be possible.”

* Is it true that Rick Santorum’s grandfather was a coal miner?*

Yes, and according to his relatives back in Italy, something of a lefty as
well. But it would be crazy to presume that the fact that your grandfather
was a laboring man makes you more sympathetic to the working class.
Santorum’s parents were both employed by a Veterans Administration
hospital, and I have not noticed that this gave him a gut sympathy for the
government safety net.

*Is it true that Newt Gingrich said the word that best describes him is

Yes, this was at the last debate. Romney picked “resolute” and Santorum
picked “courage,” both of which might better be described as “word my
handlers told me to try to get across whenever possible.”

I’m not quite sure where “cheerful” came from. My favorite Newt anecdote
was one his daughter told about her father having a meltdown in a makeup
room before a TV appearance while she begged him to “go to a happy place.”
If Newt really does think of himself as an innately cheerful guy, he must
have been even more of a nightmare as a first and second husband than we

* Is it true that Romney told people in Michigan that their trees were just
the right height?*

Yes, he was trying to butter them up. He also said “I love cars!” This is
yet another example of Mitt’s common touch. In Ohio recently, he told a
long story about going to a friend’s wedding, taking some nail polish and
writing on the soles of the groom-to-be’s shoes so that when he knelt at
the altar, the congregation could read HELP.

This anecdote raises several questions. A) Do you think it actually
happened? And B) If you found out it was true, would that make you like
Romney more, or less?

*What is the right height for a tree?*

Not sure, but he said it again on Friday, adding that in Michigan “the
streets are just right,” too.

Then he undermined all that hard work on the carpenter-dad angle by adding
that his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” The man has an army of
political advisers who feed him with oppo research about Rick Santorum’s
earmarks, but apparently nobody suggested downplaying the second Caddy.

* Was Romney ever saved from possible death by a 21-pound cat?*

No, but he did once drive to Canada with the family dog tied to the roof of
the car.

Art Deco (Wayne A. Fox)
art.deco.studios at gmail.com
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