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Video Digest: December 7, 2007

Meave Gallagher on the week in fringe candidates' campaign videos, pledging support for their funky monkey no-hokum causes.

Q. If a candidate appears on stage, but never gets any face time, is he still running for president?

A. Apparently so. There are eight Democratic and eight Republican candidates vying for their respective parties’ nominations—not that the casual observer would know it. I threw a small fit the other day because I didn’t know last Saturday’s Brown & Black Democratic forum existed until three days after it happened. And this one made the candidates ask each other questions, too! Cannily, Dennis Kucinich used the opportunity to give a lesser-heard candidate a chance to speak.

Good job, Ohio! Although I admit, as a vegan, I am partial to a presidential candidate who shares so many of my political views and my dietary ethics. I wonder who he’d hire as White House chef. More importantly, this campaign video addresses affordable housing—one of my pet causes—and highlights Dennis’s best assets.


Now, not one to got lost in the dream of a pacifist vegan president, I’ve taken a few of those choose-your-candidate quizzes; oddly, my second-choice candidate was as reliable as my first: Mike Gravel. Who? Some guy from Alaska? Isn’t that usually a conservative state—a very conservative state? Not entirely, it seems. Check out last week’s gorgeous campaign video.

Perhaps because he didn’t meet CNN’s monetary standard for inclusion in the November 15 debate in Las Vegas, he’s a stranger to you as well. He taped an alternative debate nearby, viewable here. To whet your appetite, here’s Grandpa Mike outlining his platform.

Among the little-seen Republicans, there is the most notorious nutbar, Dr. Ron Paul.

Invasion of privacy seems like a good thing to oppose, one might think. I certainly don’t support a national ID card. Facebook and Google Ads know too much about me already. The good doctor also opposes government-funded healthcare programs, which to my mind reveals an ugly truth about libertarianism: it’s short-sighted and selfish.

Now may I present to you a message from Tom Tancredo, the congressman from Colorado.

Care to see more? Here is a very recent clip of Rep. Tancredo explaining why he is boycotting Sunday’s Spanish-language debate. In it, you will see a man proclaiming both his pride in being monolingual and his disdain for anyone who dares to speak another language in the privacy of their American home. My favorite part is how nostalgic he seems for the America of his immigrant grandparents, where their children were forbidden to speak Italian, and ladies couldn’t vote.

Sometimes I think Duncan Hunter is like the “Have You Seen Me?” kids with their pictures printed all smeary in blue ink on the back side of a coupon for an oil change. The face looks vaguely familiar, maybe the name, but there are so many of them, you can’t ever be really sure.

No, his name is not made up; no, that ad was not a parody. Duncan Hunter is a congressman from San Diego—the 52nd district is one of California’s pockets of conservatism. Duncan Hunter stands for three things: border control via an enormous fence, bringing American jobs back from the red Chinese, and a big strong military.

Here, Duncan Hunter shows us what a big strong leader he would be by expressing indignation at the “wonderful menu” for the prisoners at Gitmo. Honey-glazed chicken! Can you imagine.

“[W]e stop their program during the day and give them prayer time over the loudspeaker…” Tom Tancredo should take a lesson in smooth talking from Duncan Hunter; that is quite a euphemism.

After all this punishment, is there a lesson? Yes. While the frontrunners parade like robots in front of the camera, lend an ear to the back rows. With fewer people to please, it’s the fringe candidates who have a chance to be provocative, even intelligent.

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