Now that the results are in, the votes are counted and the speeches given, the seemingly endless 2012 election can at long last be put to bed. President Barack Obama crossed the finish line well before midnight EST without the drama and discord of elections past, in spite of the slugfest that preceded it. The past 18 months of this election cycle has thrown us curveball after curveball, almost as if they were designed to keep political junkies entertained.
Here are 9 forgotten election headlines, earth shattering at the time, that have faded into election trivia.
Herman Cain’s Mistress
For a very brief moment last fall it seemed as if a personable African-American businessman might represent a new path for the GOP to follow, until the Pizza King’s appetite got the better of him.
Rick Perry’s “oops”
Rick Perry was another “pretender to the throne” whose Texas cowboy charm and family-values made him the picture perfect GOP candidate, until the debates revealed him to be a bit short on the details at a primary debate. “And I will tell ya, it’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone,” Perry said, gesturing toward Rep. Ron Paul on his left, who had called for five agencies to be eliminated. “Commerce, Education, and the, uh – what’s the third one there, let’s see,” said Perry, as the audience gathered at Oakland University began to laugh.
At that point, Ron Paul held up the five fingers of his right hand toward Perry, indicating he wanted five agencies cut, but as Perry continued to stumble, Mitt Romney, called out, “EPA?”
“EPA, there you go,” said Perry, and slapped the podium as the audience laughed again. But Perry made clear that wasn’t what he meant. After one of the moderators, John Hardwood of CNBC, jumped in to try to clarify the point by asking Perry about the third agency, Perry again couldn’t name it, finally saying, “I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
Romney and Perry’s $10K Bet
If Romney’s blue-blood manner was ultimately part of his undoing, it came to the fore for the first time during the debates when he casually made a $10K bet with fellow candidate Perry. For Romney, $10 grand seemed like placing a $3 bet at OTB. The $10K wager came up when Rick Perry insisted that Romney had been in favor of individual health care mandates and that he’d changed the latest edition of one of his books to wiggle out of that position. “I’m just saying, you’re for individual mandates, my friend,” Perry said to Romney after raising the point and hearing Romney deny it. Romney, standing next to Perry, responded, “You’ve raised that before, Rick, and you’re simply wrong.” Then he suddenly stuck out his hand. “Rick, I’ll tell you what: 10,000 bucks?”
Newt’s Moon Base
Thank goodness we still had Newt to provide us with some world class craziness in the primary season. Gingrich has not proposed specific levels for federal spending as a GOP presidential candidate when he touted a truly cockamamie idea to build a colony on the moon. The fiscal conservative also pandered to just about every economic and special interest in Florida which would have sent the $16.4 trillion national debt skyrocketing even more.
Fears on the right that Mitt Romney was a moderate in conservative clothing were married with liberal fears that he was demagogue in moderates clothing when a campaign advisor said that if Mitt Romney got the nomination, “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch – you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.” At least Ohio Art got a sales boost out it.
Obama and Russian President Medvedev
Politicians are no strangers to accidentally being picked up on live mics. But while these are usually minor blushes of the “Major league A-hole” or “This is a big F-ing deal” variety, this one, on the other hand, showed Obama speaking to the leader of a country with which the United States still has a very tenuous relationship. At a meeting in Seoul in March, he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.
“You Didn’t Build That”
Potentially more damaging was the statement by Obama that Republicans immediately seized upon.“If you’ve got a business,” Obama told the crowd during a campaign stop, “you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” For a President whose relationship with the business community was already strained, this could have been catastrophic.
Romney’s European Vacation
Even among his supporters, one of the concerns about Romney’s fitness for the position was his lack of foreign policy experience. To make matters worse, his entire trip was filled with gaffes, each one worse than the previous. Romney told NBC News he saw “a few things that were disconcerting” about London’s preparations for the Olympics. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he said. Needless to say, David Cameron and the London Press were not pleased
Eastwood and the Chair
The first of two tactical mistakes before Romney’s post-debate rally personify a negative stereotype of the GOP: An angry old white man yelling at an empty chair that he blames for all of the world’s problems. This was not a reading before angel financers for a new one-man show. It was Clint Eastwood’s performance at the GOP convention. Oy.