Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Iowa caucuses - a guide to some of the less well known candidates

There are loads of presidential hopefuls running in the caucuses and understandably readers of these columns may be confused about them. We need waste no time in analysing their politics because one and all they affirm they wish to "make America great" and "get America moving"  and to "bring hope" and similar banalities. Instead we shall waste time by introducing the most obscure candidates with the time-honoured device of playing around with their names. For reasons beyond my control, they are all standing for the Republican party.

  • Jim Gilmore - presumably no relation to the well-known guitarist with a certain popular beat combo I have referenced once or twice in these columns. His achievement of 12 votes out of some 190,000 cast must surely be a great source of pride to his fond parents, if nobody else.
  • Rick Santorum - actually this is a village in Hereford. The name, similar to both Buckland Monachorum (Devon) and Rickmansworth (Herts) means something like 'the haystack near the health centre' and refers to the days when infirm peasants, once their medical insurance had run out, would be accomodated in a suitable bale of straw.
  • Chris Christie - Mr. Christie senior was a man of few words and even smaller imagination. Completely stumped to find a name for his son he had got as far as filling in his surname on the birth registration form and then thought 'yeah, that'll do'.
  • Mike Huckabee - A traditional practice amongst East Coast apiarists, the competition to see who can throw a bee the furthest is little known today. In Yiddish the word 'huck' means to hit or throw and the Jewish emigrants to the US in the early 19c were keen to adopt the local customs. One might hear a man dressed in fur hat and long black coat observe despairingly to his wife "Oy, Golde, I gave that bee such a huck and he went nowhere". Whether Mike is aware of his rich cultural heritage is hard to say.
  • Carly Fiorina - Originally a folk duo from northern Spain, Carl y Fiorina scored nul points in the 2008 Eurovision song contest with "Boom za za diddle means I love you", split up, reformed and finally merged into one
  • Rand Paul. Forever finding that officials were crossing out any forms he had filled in, where he had put surname "Paul" and firstname "Rand" on the grounds that he had made a mistake, and in any case faced by deep scepticism that "Rand" is a name, rather than a currency, Mr. Paul dropped out of the running as soon as the results were in. 

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