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Donkey Dow: corn dogs, celebrity cameos and cries for help

Goodbye John Hickenlooper, hello Cardi B

August 16, 2019

12:42 PM

16 August 2019

12:42 PM

Cockburn is introducing the Donkey Dow: a round-up of the movers and shakers in the race to face up against Donald Trump. Here’s how the candidates fared over the last few days.

donkey dow corn

Winners

I love it when a plan comes together. A new poll from The Economist and YouGov has Elizabeth Warren just one point behind Biden. Maybe the Massachusetts senator isn’t just popular in the media and on Twitter after all.

She is, undoubtedly, popular on Twitter. A clip of Warren running in Franconia, N.H. was memed into oblivion this week. No wonder she’s hot on Joe’s heels.

In perhaps the most ambitious crossover event since Avengers: Infinity War, Bernie Sanders was grilled by Cardi B in a Detroit nail bar.

Despite Cardi’s somewhat checkered past (she is a rapper after all), this issue-focused interview is an undeniable win for Bernie, who has struggled to establish himself as a potent alternative to Biden. If you’re an old white dude hoping to ratchet up support among the youth and people of color, could there be a better way than sitting down with an immensely popular celebrity who genuinely believes in your platform? It’s an excellent play…

Losers

…which is presumably why Tim Ryan attempted this bold move on Twitter:

A congressman from a crucial swing state, reduced to a Reply Guy by his quest for relevance. Just desperately sad.

Speaking of desperation, want to see what coastal elites are prepared to do to curry favor with the American heartland? Of course you do.

The Iowa State Fair last weekend was a showcase of the best the state has to offer. What that means in culinary terms is effectively ‘corn and pork.’ The real feast, however, was watching the city-slicking swamp creatures feign enjoyment as they devoured the local delicacies.

Let’s start with Cory Booker, struggling through a vegan PB&J.

While channeling Beto O’Rourke’s Vanity Fair cover, New York mayor Bill de Blasio tucked into a corn dog and some veggie totchos.

Here’s Kamala Harris eating a pork chop, a move she immediately followed with wishing the Muslim world a happy Eid Al Fitr. You couldn’t make it up.

It’s hard to anyone to look good eating…but of these awful moments, Cockburn thinks Harris comes off worst. Throughout her campaign, the California senator has been tweeting out video clips that reek of inauthenticity, whether she’s ‘coincidentally meeting‘ Elizabeth Warren or ‘discovering‘ her tour bus. Harris jumped in the race because she wanted to be the next Obama. So why does she act like the next Hillary?

Neither here nor there

Guess which candidate ‘gaffed’ this week. Go on, guess.

If you said Joe Biden, congratulations: you have a surface-level understanding of the last 30 years of politics. His ‘poor-kids-white-kids‘ mix-up was hyperventilated over for a good couple of days. Did it matter? Not a jot.

Democrats are too concerned with seeming ‘nice’. They’re happy to go after Sleepy Joe for saying things which might offend a minority group…because that’s the nice thing to do, right? However few are prepared to make the case that Joe’s blunders could be the result of creeping senility, because that might seem mean. A Republican candidate would have no such qualms. It’s worth dwelling upon whether the rest of the pack are serious about knocking him off his perch.

Elsewhere, two candidates pressed pause on campaigning: Beto O’Rourke following the El Paso shooting, and Tulsi Gabbard, who’s heading to Indonesia for National Guard service.

Skidding out

Arrivederci to former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who dropped out this week, potentially to focus on a Senate run in his home state against Cory Gardner. For the first time in his life, Hickenlooper could be a trend-setter: among Democratic fans of the pack leaders, there is pressure for other low-polling candidates to pull out and plunge into a Senate race. As Spectator USA‘s Jacob Heilbrunn wrote: ‘Winning the presidency but losing the Senate might well be an exercise in futility.’ No one knows the meaning of futility like the Democratic party: we’ll see what happens.

Hickenlooper’s campaign highlights range from admitting he watched porn with his mother to refusing to call himself a capitalist, despite making a fat wad in the brewing industry. He eventually came to terms with the label, certainly by the first Democratic debate, where he spoke to Spectator USA.

Most of his email blasts concluded with the sign-off ‘giddy up!’ But as a modern American poet once said, ‘if you ain’t got no giddy up then giddy out my way.’

Got a tip for Cockburn? Email cockburn@spectator.us.


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