[guest post by JVW]
Tonight comes the second group of ten Democrats who will debate each other to win the love and admiration of party activists who will select one of them to face President Trump in just about sixteen months from now. Following the procedure established last night, I want to place each of these candidates in the context of someone whom many (if not most) of us might have encountered in high school. So without further ado, here we go (once again, listed alphabetically by last name):
Michael Bennett – His family moved into town just before his senior year, and he pretty much kept to himself and left no record of having accomplished anything. Sat next to you in Chemistry II, but you don’t recall having more than maybe six verbal exchanges with him the entire year.
Joe Biden – Quarterback of the varsity football team that finished with a 2-8 record. Threw for five touchdown passes with eighteen interceptions and lost seven fumbles. Carried a 2.1 GPA and scored a 16 composite on the ACT, but nevertheless claimed that he was being recruited to play at Dartmouth. Dressed like the cool kids all dressed ten years earlier and drove a slightly run-down muscle car that he worked on himself, even though he didn’t know the first thing about auto mechanics.
Pete Buttigieg – Friendly and earnest fellow whose best friends were all girls. You appointed him refreshments chairman for the homecoming dance, and he bought a really nice cake but forgot to buy any drinks, so you had to give him $30 out of your own pocket so he could go get a couple of cases of Hawaiian Punch which nobody drank. He still says it was the best dance he ever attended and now wants to chair the prom committee.
Kirsten Gillibrand – Her sophomore year she became the lackey/toady for a snobbishly tiresome but oddly popular senior girl, and somehow parlayed that to entry into the “in” crowd after she dropped her Future Farmers of America friends. She promoted herself for homecoming queen quietly behind the scenes, but legend has it she received exactly zero votes. Was frenemies with every other girl in your class.
Kamala Harris – Rumored to have been secretly dating an administrator at the high school, which purportedly landed her positions as the head cheerleader and homecoming queen. Noticeably lacked enthusiasm for a cheerleader, and left the homecoming dance immediately after pictures were taken for the newspaper. Was always assumed to have a bright future ahead of her, even though her grades and test scores were only average.
John Hickenlooper – President of DECA and manager of the school store. Worked hard to keep it profitable even though it was known that everyone stole from it, but was lucky enough to make a high margin on brownies and therefore always break even. Nice enough guy, but extremely awkward to speak to, and had an annoying habit of agreeing with everyone with whom he spoke.
Bernard Sanders – Believed to have been held back two years because he seemed so much older than the rest of his peers. Kept circulating petitions to make school lunches “free” by doubling the price on the Coke machine. Furthermore, wants to provide “free” pencils and notebook paper by doubling the price on the Coke machine, and to have yearbooks distributed for “free,” subsidized by doubling the price on the Coke machine. Also wants the Coke machine replaced with water fountains which are healthier and better for the environment, as well as being free. Wrote an outraged op-ed in the school newspaper declaring the concept of a valedictorian was imperialist and should be abolished. A group of disaffected freshmen worships him.
Eric Swalwell – You had honestly never heard of this guy until the day he called the principal an asshole to his face and became a legend in his own mind just because a few popular kids chuckled. You quickly realized he was of extremely limited intelligence, and to this day you don’t know or care what happened to him.
Marianne Williamson – Cute chick who read Jonathan Livingston Seagull and listened to Dan Fogelberg, whose music she thought had really, really deep meaning. Believed strongly in using crystals for health and healing. You wanted to like her, but her thoughts were so banal and silly that you limited yourself to smiling and waving at her when you saw her in the hall. Spent most of her time in the art studio making stained glass doodads and painting rainbows and peace signs.
Andrew Yang – Fun guy who was excessively nerdy but usually made you laugh. Always had some off-the-wall scheme that he insisted would work if people would just “break out of their paradigms” and give it a try. Ignored by the jocks, the partiers, the pretty people, and the go-getters, but managed to become a success in business, even if many of his ideas continued to be risible.
So that’s it. I don’t think that I will watch this one either, so I’ll be interested in hearing what you all have to say.