OpinionTop of the Ticket

Politics can be fun: Lindsay Lohan and 'binders full of women'

ElectionsPoliticsMitt RomneyBarack ObamaBruce SpringsteenBill ClintonEntertainment

The 2012 presidential campaign has largely been a nasty, uninspiring slog toward election day, but there have been moments of hilarity, wonderful absurdity and even a bit of hope – reminders that politics can be fun.

My cartoon today is in that spirit. When the starlet with the extra-messy life, Lindsay Lohan, announced she was likely voting for the ultra-straight-laced Mitt Romney, I just had to get the two together in a cartoon. And I could not resist tossing in a reference to women in binders. In the second presidential debate, Romney said that, in seeking more females for positions in his gubernatorial Cabinet in Massachusetts, he came up with “binders full of women.” It was the latest odd example of how the Republican nominee sometimes packages his thoughts, and it immediately went viral.

The funniest riffs on Romney’s comment came in a flurry of bogus product reviews on the Amazon Web page where binders and other office supplies are sold. Here is an excerpt from one: “Thank goodness for this binder. Now, each day when dinnertime rolls around, I’m able to select a stereotype-friendly woman from the binder to go home and cook. This leaves me free to fritter away the entire evening at work, while still collecting the full 72% paycheck. And my boss is none the wiser! Thanks to this binder, I’m on Easy Street!”

PHOTOS: Top of the Ticket cartoons

If Tuesday’s debate comment caused him some unintended grief, Romney was intentionally funny on Thursday at the Al Smith dinner in New York. It was a welcome respite from the brass-knuckled campaign. All the men were dressed in white tie and tails, and that was a relief for him, Romney said – after all the wardrobe changes required on the campaign trail, it was nice to “wear what Ann and I wear around the house.”

Earlier in the evening, President Obama had taped an appearance on Jon Stewart’s news satire program, "The Daily Show." With Stewart, he played it very straight and presidential. But when Obama took his turn at the microphone at the Al Smith event, he immediately went for the funny stuff, telling everyone to take their seats, “otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them.” 

Alluding to his disparate performances in the two debates, Obama said the second go-round went much better because “I felt really well-rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate.”

Romney took some funny jabs at the president, who was sitting just a seat away, separated only by the imposing figure of Catholic Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. The GOP nominee said the grueling campaign would be even more difficult without having someone to rely on, someone without whom a candidate could not go on another day: “I have my wife, Ann; he has Bill Clinton.”

The same night the two candidates were doing stand-up comedy at the Waldorf Astoria, super-surrogate Clinton was sharing a stage at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio, with Bruce Springsteen – and that had to have been fun.

Before introducing the working-class troubadour for a seven-song set, the ex-president told the crowd: “This is the first time in my life I ever got to be the warm-up act for Bruce Springsteen. I am qualified, because I was born in the USA and, unlike one of the candidates for president, I keep all my money here.”

Springsteen avoided comedy and mostly stuck with music. In brief remarks, though, he delivered a pointed, it’s-time-to-stop-whining-and-grow-up message to liberals and young people disappointed with Obama’s first term. He recalled election night 2008 as "an evening when you can feel the locked doors of the past finally being blown open to new possibilities. But then, then comes a hard daily struggle to make those possibilities real in a world that is brutally resistant to change.”

The Boss went on, saying, "I'm here today because I've lived long enough to know that despite those galvanizing moments in history, the future is rarely a tide rushing in. It's often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day, and I believe we are in the midst of those long days right now. And I’m here today because I believe President Obama feels those days in his bones, for all the 100% of us."

No, politics does not have to be unrelentingly grim, though sometimes it takes a poet like Springsteen to provide a voice of inspiration.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
ElectionsPoliticsMitt RomneyBarack ObamaBruce SpringsteenBill ClintonEntertainment
  • Barack Obama takes command in second presidential debate
    Barack Obama takes command in second presidential debate

    If the Barack Obama who showed up for the second presidential debate had shown up for the first debate, there is a good chance Republicans would now be sullenly turning their thoughts to 2016 and arguing over how they got tricked into nominating a loser two elections in a row.

  • Presidential debate: Will Romney make the ultimate flip-flop?
    Presidential debate: Will Romney make the ultimate flip-flop?

    Mitt Romney is going into the second presidential debate with almost everything going for him: fresh momentum, an enthused Republican base, improved polling numbers, his own impressive array of debating skills and an opponent desperate to make people forget his own limp-noodle performance in...

  • The new Rand Paul vs. the old Rand Paul
    The new Rand Paul vs. the old Rand Paul

    Rand Paul, the heretofore libertarian senator from Kentucky, gave a foreign policy speech to Republican grandees in New York last week with a clear message: I'm not an isolationist like my dad.

  • A radical cancer therapy: Don't treat
    A radical cancer therapy: Don't treat

    We learned about my husband's inoperable brain tumor from a nurse who doled out the news as though providing his cholesterol count. Mark stood frozen. I clutched at him and wailed.

  • Looking Ebola in the eye, with help from Camus
    Looking Ebola in the eye, with help from Camus

    Ebola's exponential growth and extraterritorial reach has caused commentators across the ideological spectrum — from former U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Anthony Zinni to the Daily Kos — to describe the spread of the virus as an “existential threat.” For...

  • Parents, too, could use a break on student loan debt
    Parents, too, could use a break on student loan debt

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been fighting the good fight for student loan debt reform. As she put it recently: "Millions of young people are just stuck. They can't buy homes, they can't buy cars … all because they are struggling under the weight of student loan debt."

Comments
Loading