Ah, politics. American elections are a marvelous combination of gutter fight and three ring circus — a veritable smorgasbord of quirky characters, bare-knuckle brawling, gaffes, glitches, zingers, and the occasional insight into the human condition that makes an American election such a compelling, and entertaining enterprise.
There is also a surprising amount of humor — intentional and unintentional — that leavens the serious nature of what’s at stake. Case in point: the latest Republican effort to remind voters of President Obama’s most famous phrase. When Obama uttered “You didn’t build that” to justify an increase in taxes, little did he realize the shelf life that gaffe would have, and the inventive ways it could be used against him.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) a birthday cake on Friday, but the DNC sent it back.
The cake read “you didn’t bake this” over a picture of President Obama. Text written in icing reads, “Happy birthday, Mr. President.” The cake marks the occasion of the president’s birthday, which is Saturday, with a play on the “you didn’t build that” controversy.
Yahoo News reported the cake as vanilla with vanilla frosting.
“Happy 50.99726th Mr. President,” RNC spokesman Tim Miller wrote in an email. The decimal number tweaks the Democrats on an official blog post from White House Economic adviser Alan Krueger, who pointed out the July jobs report, released Friday, indicated the “unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217 percent in June to 8.254 percent in July).
“23 million people struggling for work isn’t a rounding error,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus snapped back.
Not to be outdone, the DNC tried to zing Mr. Romney by sending the cake back.
“This is typical of Mitt Romney’s approach to the middle class,” DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell told The Hill. “He wants to ‘Let them eat cake!’ while robbing them blind. We sent the cake back to the RNC, along with a copy of the Tax Center’s report on Mitt Romney’s tax plan.”
There is no love lost between the two sides, but the use of humor to bash the other side’s candidate is, if not original, then certainly creative. And it’s better than the usual back and forth where one guy has horns growing out of his head, and the other has evil designs on America.
A nice break from the ordinary campaign head bashing.