Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa: The Final Rose

The popularity of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette can be summed up in one simple word: voyeurism. OK, perhaps it is better summed up with a kinder word: love. We love to watch desperate people with better clothes than us search for the love of their lives, and we bask in the reflected glow as their dreams and fantasies are dashed on the rocky shores of reality. In this way, it’s a lot like the Iowa caucus process. Rabid GOP voters are desperately searching for a candidate to love, and we can’t wait to watch the emotional roller coaster ride and the eventual recriminations from the jilted suitors. We politicos are a jaded bunch.

Tonight in Iowa, it is time to see who gets the coveted rose to continue on the journey to New Hampshire and beyond.

In this week’s episode of The Candi-Date, the Iowa GOP electorate narrows the field down by two hopefuls. 7 candidates, but only 5 roses. Who will continue on with a chance for electoral love?

Tonight, Iowa voters with reliable transportation, a copy of a utility bill, and a few hours to kill will stand in front of a draped table topped with 5 long-stemmed roses. The scene unfolds (after a word from our sponsor, 1-800 Flowers):

Iowa Electorate: “First, I’d like to thank all of you for being here these past few months, or in Newt Gingrich’s case, the past few weeks. You each have so much to offer someone, but I only have 5 roses, so some of you are going to be disappointed tonight.”

(Pan the anxious contestants, cue the dramatic music) “Ron. You’ve been consistent, although a bit crazy. I guess that’s why we’d like to see more of you. Your delusion is kind of a turn-on, and at your age, the rejection might kill you. Ron, will you accept this rose?”

Ron Paul steps forward. “Yes, I will accept the rose, but I would much rather grow my own roses on my own land than accept this hand out, which really if you think about it, represents everything that is wrong with this country.”

(Pan the anxious contestants) “Mitt. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I felt comfortable with you, like wear an old pair of shoes that go flippity-flop when I walk. If our relationship is going to continue, I’ll need to feel some spark, and we haven’t had that yet. I am willing to keep going to see if we are far right for one another. Mitt, will you accept this rose?”

Mitt Romney speaks from his place. “Actually, I have the immunity idol already. I’m headed out on the next one-on-one date regardless.”

(Pan the anxious contestants, show shot of 3 remaining roses) “Rick S., when I heard you reject diversity as a value because diversity creates conflict, I finally saw you in a different light. You can be just as crazy as Ron if you let yourself. And I have to admit, the sweater vests give you a little country club to go along with your Pennsylvania working stiff persona. I’d like to know more. Rick S., will you accept this rose?”

Rick Santorum mops his brow. “I thought you didn’t even know I existed. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I will accept this rose.  I hope this leads to a traditional marriage between us.”

(Pan the anxious contestants) “Jon.”

Jon Huntsman steps forward. He flashes his Pepsodent smile. All eyes glare at him in disbelief as he reaches for the rose.

“Jon, you haven’t spent any time here, and frankly, I didn’t think you even wanted to be seen with us. I thought more and more about it, and you are the only one I have not given a solo date. Jon, you deserve to be front runner once, just like everyone else has been. Jon, will you accept this rose?”


“He’s already left for New Hampshire,” came the voice from off-camera.

(Pan the anxious contestants – one rose left) “This is hard. Do I have to give out another rose?”

“Fine. Newt.”

Newt Gingrich lumbers forward. “I knew I’d get a rose before these intellectually vapid sad excuses for a fire brand true conservative. I knew you wanted a warrior and not a paper tiger. Yes, I accept this rose. Kiss me.”

Iowa Electorate: “Actually, I was saving this rose for Herman, but since he went back to his old girlfriends(s), you’ll do...for now.”

“Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, you did not receive a rose tonight. Take a moment to say your good-byes, then pack up and head to South Carolina.”

The next episode takes the remaining Candi-Dates to snowy New Hampshire where each lovelorn contestant will try to woo the stubbornly independent voters of the Granite State with their slick SuperPAC ads and intoxicating half-truths. Stay tuned. This promises to be the most exciting and most unpredictable season of The Candi-Date yet.

At least until the next season.

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