Desperate times call for desperate stunts: Tips for GOP long-shots looking to make the debate cut

Want to get attention, candidates? We've got a few ideas

By Jim Newell
Published June 8, 2015 12:00PM (EDT)
  (AP/Reuters/Jacquelyn Martin/Rick Wilking/Brendan McDermid)
(AP/Reuters/Jacquelyn Martin/Rick Wilking/Brendan McDermid)

The quadrennial pre-presidential election year summer of dumb muppet stunts is upon us, thank God. And due to the large GOP field and debate caps, long-shot candidates will have to ramp up the slapstick comedy to build up name recognition. They only have two months until 10 candidates, and 10 candidates only, will battle each other to the death live on Fox News. There's never been a better time to be alive, except for all the other times!

The most common dumb muppet stunt of the moment is declaring a run for president. That's a big one -- have to hit all the right notes! Rick Perry, who's right on the cut line, is basically a stunt in and of himself, and now he's got a fantastic stunt song to reintroduce his stunt self for the rest of his campaign, which may only last a few months. "Rick Perry supporter/ Let’s protect our border/ To hell with anyone who don’t believe in the USA/ Rick Perry all the way," some slob "raps" in this song. Maybe it will go viral and get Colt Ford into the debates! Wait, that's not right. Maybe it will go viral and get Rick Perry into the debates!

Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, John Kasich and (maybe?) whosisface from New Jersey will all declare soon enough. We look forward to hearing the Viral Rap about John Kasich!

America wants only the best stuntsters to make it into the debate. What is a competitive nomination fight if not an omnidirectional trolling melee? Let's think of some fun ideas for the candidates on the margins of debate entry.

Lindsey Graham: Ha! He doesn't need our help getting attention. Graham claims that he doesn't email or text because he's too busy thinking deep thoughts to bother engaging with modernity. Here are a couple of his deep thoughts from a single riff on Friday.

[embedtweet id=606849272634568704]

[embedtweet id=606845290000326656]

Graham did, however, tell attendees that "Rand Paul is not responsible for the creation of ISIL." You want to get into the debates, Graham? There's no room for these pleasantries. From now on, when someone asks who or what is responsible for the creation of the Islamic State, I want to hear Lindsey Graham say "RAND PAUL!" without hesitation, followed by a pledge to "call a drone" on Rand Paul's ISIL-creating ass. As the famous vulgarian Jeb Bush once said, this isn't tiddlywinks we're playing.

Carly Fiorina: Carly Fiorina doesn't even bother with her GOP competitors. She goes straight to trolling Hillary Clinton, because she is also a woman? She just hovers around Hillary's events and says and does the opposite of what Hillary Clinton says and does -- something that politicos call "sharpening contrasts" and normal people call "stalking."

Fiorina should take the stunt into next-level performance art and try to become Hillary Clinton's mirror image. She stands as close as she can get to Hillary Clinton at all times. When Hillary raises her left arm, Fiorina raises her right in perfect symmetry, and so on, and she does this until she's finally arrested for being super weird.

John Kasich: John Kasich should get the very modest plastic surgery touch-ups he needs to become literally Garry Shandling, and then switch places with Garry Shandling, and people would have no idea that the John Kasich campaign is really just Garry Shandling crisscrossing the country muttering nonsense. (It is possible that this has happened already and we don't even know.) Anyway, eventually you reveal it and people have a good laugh at how they got punked. "That guy who got plastic surgery to become Garry Shandling," everyone would say, "I think he'd make a great president."

Rick Santorum: Challenge the leftist science-loving fraud Pope Francis to a "Pittsburgh-style boxing match" to determine who gets to be the divinely inspired arbiter of all things Catholic. If the pope refuses then just fly to Rome and kick his ass there. Beating up the pope will get Rick Santorum all over the papers.

Donald Trump: Just keep on Trumpin', baby.

Jim Newell

Jim Newell covers politics and media for Salon.

MORE FROM Jim Newell