Funniest political moments of 2012 | Bob Roegner

Sesame Street character Big Bird made headlines during the 2012 presidential election. - Photo courtesy of facebook.com/BigBird
Sesame Street character Big Bird made headlines during the 2012 presidential election.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of facebook.com/BigBird

Every year, human behavior provides comic relief, and some humor inadvertently sneaks into political campaigns. This was a particularly fruitful year.

The state of Arizona has developed a reputation, approaching paranoia, regarding illegal immigrants from other countries. That state even passed a law that allows police authorities to ask anyone who “looks different” for papers to prove they are a citizen. I wonder what Arizona has against Canadians?

“It was a good night for pot smokers” said news anchor Lester Holt as Washington and Colorado voters said yes to recreational marijuana. But the shocker was that Oregon said no. Oregon? Look for a migration north across the Columbia River.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney invited 750 people who contributed $250,000 each to a private bash in Park City, Utah. Hard to understand why Romney had been criticized for not being able to identify with the common folk. Of course, offering to bet Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 probably didn’t help, either.

Sheldon Adelson promised to donate $100 million to Mitt Romney to defeat President Obama. His first choice in the primaries was Newt Gingrich, to whom he also gave millions. Gingrich used the money to attack front-runner Romney. So, if you connect the dots, Adelson spent millions to elect the guy his millions were also spent trying to defeat. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Some conservative Christians voted against same-sex marriage because they said it is inconsistent with biblical teaching, which says if a man sleeps with a man, he should be stoned. Others who voted in favor of same-sex marriage said they are consistent with biblical teaching because they also voted for marijuana.

We used to get our groceries in paper bags. But that was bad for the environment because it killed too many trees. So the stores then put our groceries in plastic bags. Apparently, that’s bad for the environment, too. Now we get paper bags at the store again, but some places charge 5 cents a bag. So we are still killing trees to get paper bags, and continuing to hurt the environment — but now we’re getting charged extra for it?

The CEO of Chick-fil-A announced he was opposed to gay marriage, and thousands of fans showed up to demonstrate their support by eating more of his chicken. To make their own point, the mayors of Boston and Chicago said they didn’t want Chick-fil-A in their cities if the restaurant opposed gay marriage. Wonder what the mayors are going to do with that other large anti-gay marriage institution in town — the Catholic church?

One candidate for the Legislature promised “I will not sign any bill without reading it.” While that may be the minimum we expect from an office holder, given some of our laws, maybe we should hope that the idea catches on.

Remember all those new highly serious conservative Congressmen who went to Washington, D.C., two years ago to stop all the antics and misbehavior? Turns out they’re fun guys after all. On a “fact finding trip” to Israel, some of them skinny-dipped in the Sea of Galilee, causing a bit of an incident. One fellow House member likened the behavior to a scene from “Animal House.” Well, you can’t expect them to work all the time!

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney threatened to take PBS and Big Bird off the air. Some Democrats, suspicious as ever, suspected that Romney’s move was really a veiled gesture to Christian conservatives who have always wondered about Bert and Ernie.

Democrats found unusual ways to appeal to voters. President Obama released the secret White House recipe for beer. Only a cynic would suggest that it was also a reminder that Obama was a “regular guy” and Romney doesn’t drink.

Over in Poulsbo, a suspected DUI driver was pulled over by the police. But rather then take a breathalyzer test, he decided to try and outrun the police — on a moped. After the police officer stopped laughing, he recaptured the suspect and took him to jail.

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has decided she doesn’t want both American and Swiss citizenship after all. Too bad. With Switzerland’s universal heath care and generous social welfare, the Democrats were hoping that Bachmann would spend more time attacking Switzerland’s government and leave ours alone.

Two years ago, Bachmann said that storms, hurricanes and droughts were God’s way of punishing Democrats for their un-Christian ways. Then who invited Hurricane Isaac to this year’s Republican Convention?

“That’s right-wing social engineering,” said presidential candidate Newt Gingrich about Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget. He then endorsed Ryan for vice president. Strange bedfellows.

Different countries have different ways to make a political impact. In Togo, women staged a sex strike as a way to urge men to get the president of Togo to resign. The strike lasted about a week, and the president didn’t resign. Would that work here?

In politics, somebody always finds a new way to get to voters. In Bosnia, a candidate for mayor linked pornographic video clips to his campaign website. His reason: with voters, you have to get their attention first.

Best commercial of the year: Clint Eastwood’s “America’s resilient spirit” for General Motors at the Super Bowl. Obama should have stolen it.

The best local commercials were congressional candidate Denny Heck’s “Give Congress Heck.” It was humorous and pointed. Also, Governor-elect Jay Inslee’s introductory piece showed him standing on a state map, saying he represented both sides of the mountains in Congress. It took a possible carpetbagger charge and made it positive. Smart.

What was the worst commercial of the year, according to Republicans? The Democrats’ “Swiss Miss,” which had a pig-tailed blonde suggesting, in a veiled reference to Mitt Romney, that the only reason to have a Swiss bank account was to hide money. It caused a bit of an international incident, as the Swiss government was quite upset that anyone would suggest such a thing. There must be millions of other reasons someone would have a Swiss bank account. Right?

“You want to try it? Get in the ring,” said Ann Romney, addressing her husband’s critics. Gotta love her.

“Donald Trump has driven well past the last exit to relevance,” said normally diplomatic newsman Brian Williams after seeing several post-election comments by Trump suggesting rebellion and a loss of democracy.

I can hardly wait for 2013!


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