Home Previous Elections 2012 Elections The Greatest Worsts of the 2012 Presidential Election – Vol. 1

The Greatest Worsts of the 2012 Presidential Election – Vol. 1

The Greatest Worsts of the 2012 Presidential Election – Vol. 1

As this democratic version of national waterboarding comes to a close in a few more days, it’s a good time to reflect on the many moments we’ve shared together as Americans. Especially all of the mistakes of the candidates, the pundocracy and the Mainstream Media in general.

We’ve been battered non-stop by erroneous “conventional wisdom” from the media, ignorant gaffes and proclamations from politicians and yet they are far too frequently forgotten.

Like the old story of the mouse hanging the bell on the cat, maybe it would be helpful to do the same on the media and politicians so we can hear them coming with their unjustifiably confident and misguided pronouncements the next time around.

In pursuit of that, following are awards for some of the clear misses of the media and politicians during this election cycle. You’re invited to share other moments that come to mind.

There are so many nominees to choose from in this category but this award goes to the majority of pundits on the right and the left who declared in 2011 that President Obama will not be re-elected unless unemployment dipped below 7%. Be prepared for most of these dimwits to proclaim on election day, “We’ve seen this coming for a long time, President Obama’s re-election campaign was just too strong to be denied.” Maybe there should be a show where regular people make declarative memes about what failures pundits will ultimately be?

There is no competition here, the winner by a wide margin is the insanely undemocratic Ames (Iowa) Straw Poll which perceptively chose Michele Bachmann as their pick for the Republican Presidential Nominee.

This “vote” takes place in the midst of a state fair so you know it’s all business. The winner of this event is not just selected by who can pose for the most sexually suggestive photo when trying to eat a corndog and it’s not about who can consume the most fried sticks of butter in a week…though they do help…it’s about who can throw the “funnest” party! The only people who “vote” are those who pay a fee which means that usually it’s the most driven voters…meaning, more extremist. And the way they “vote” is by attending a candidate’s party.

Michele Bachmann, according to Politic365

…spent up to $1 million by hiring Randy Travis to perform for 6,000 fans and bussing in 152 of Travis’ fans into an event.  In exchange for $30 valued tickets, concert goers had to register at Bachmann’s table and vote in the straw polls. Members of Bachmann’s campaign handed out flyers requiring people to vote for Bachmann in order to see the entertainment.

She also had a petting zoo!

If that’s not democracy, I don’t know what isn’t.

Though most of the pundits categorically stated in 2011 that the GOP nominee would have to be a Tea Party favorite, Lawrence O’Donnell at MSNBC has to take the fool’s gold on this one, declaring for weeks on his show, to the people at home and to the obviously less-intelligent guests on his show, that Tim Pawlenty will be, without a doubt, the Republican nominee for President. Just a couple of weeks after O’Donnell’s continuous declarations began, Tim Pawlenty decided that making O’Donnell look like an egotistical chump would be far more satisfying than becoming President and he dropped out of the race.

There were a number of these but only one can be the winner so the choice is…President Obama will drop Joe Biden as his VP pick in favor of Hillary Clinton! Yes, this little horse dropping was left by the Right and picked up hot and steaming by pundits all across the media. The intent was of course to instill conflict, division and uncertainty in the Obama campaign and supporters. Instead, while the media was rubbing this in ecstasy all over themselves like Axe Body Gel, Obama’s campaign and supporters just shrugged at it. Nice try Right Wing media and follow-the-liar media, better luck next time.

Yes, there are actually enough Republicans out there defending rape that this can be a competitive category. Todd Akin was so confident he would win this title, he really felt brutally attacked and screwed against his will by Richard Mourdock who forced himself upon the nation and into this position…as the winner in this category. Mourdock declared that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” What Mourdock may find ironic is that, finding himself suddenly 11 points behind in a race that had been a slam dunk for him to win, God has apparently intended to abort his candidacy.

Now this one is a toughie. Should it be his lie about Obama ending work requirements from Welfare? “Robbing” Medicare of $716 billion? The auto bailout being Romney’s idea…then a plot to send jobs to China? So many to choose from, how could one be selected above all others? Well, perhaps because all of them are part of his biggest lie of all…”I am Mitt Romney.” Being that there is no real Mitt Romney, just a greedy, self-entitled, unprincipled shell of a man, Mitt Romney himself is the worst lie of them all.

Just about every media outlet wins this dubious honor. The irrefutable facts (things that have become foreign to so-called “news” channels) are that President Obama has always led Mitt Romney in the Electoral College polls since the beginning of the election cycle. Even when Romney had his best weeks, he never moved ahead of Obama in probable electoral votes. To put it simply, that is how our democracy elects Presidents. Yet, in order to manipulate the public into watching their channels with greatest frequency for any tidbit of election “news” (and thus gain greater advertising revenue), the media has focused primarily on national polling to portray the race as virtually tied. Again, just to be clear, these news channels know full well that we don’t elect our President based upon national vote totals, that these totals are wholly irrelevant to who is elected President, yet because these can be used to deceive viewers into thinking the election is a dead heat, this is primarily what they present to represent the state of the Presidential election. It’s so dishonest, Mitt Romney is jealous.

Some of the manipulation has been so blatant. When multiple polls come out on the same day, if one poll showed Romney with a one or two point lead, it would get sole coverage and be portrayed as “Polls show Romney is leading Obama”. Yet, though Obama has led Romney in Ohio without exception, a poll showing Obama with a three point lead was referred to as, “That’s within the margin of error so it’s a virtual tie in Ohio.”

See how modern corporate journalism works today? When the candidate who is losing has a poll showing him ahead by a point, he’s leading. When the candidate who’s ahead has a poll showing him up by a few points, it’s within the margin of error and a tie. And coincidentally, that means it’s a horse race so we need to watch the news channels hour after hour to see what happens!

That wraps Volume One of The Greatest Worsts of the 2012 Presidential Election. There may be subsequent volumes but in the meantime, please feel free to add your picks in comments below.

So many worsts, so little time…to have wasted by them.


  1. Ad Lib

    Great list.

    Especially like the one re Bachmann and the straw poll. I had forgotten the details and they say so much about that woman. I am so glad she is in the hot seat right now (although I suspect she will still win and I have little hope that she will be chastened by the experience.)

    I have a few favorite worsts-

    Worst Lie about the First Term
    a) Obama had complete control of the Congress for two years and could have done anything he wanted.

    Worst Lie about Obama, the man
    a) He is always on vacation and when he is not, he is playing golf.

    Worst Lie about Obama, the President
    a) He does not know what it means to be a real American.

  2. BTW Willard’s closing argument is perhaps the most cynical of all. We all must vote for him otherwise the GOPTEA House will destroy the country. In any other democracy this would be seen as pure treason.

    Mitt says: “Vote for me… Or Else”


    Like Krugman says this argument rewards bad behavior and it’s worth it to vote for Obama just to keep the gains we have. I think Obama can get some things done in the second term, possible the grand bargain but more likely immigration especially if the GOP realizes that the Latino vote is finally important to them. I also think if the economy keeps growing the Dems have a good chance to take back the House in 2014.

    The Blackmail Caucus


  3. Wow AdLib I don’t know how you can boil it down to so few worsts. I can see why you only called this part 1. This is the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my lifetime run by a challenger. I think one worst you can easily add is worst race baiting. It probably was the welfare lie but don’t forget the birther comment by Romney, the foreign memes or last but not least the Food Stamp President meme.

    • KQ, yes, the race baiting in the campaign was awful but we have been living with terrible racism since Obama ran for office in 2008. Frankly, I think the height of it was in 2008 at Palin rallies and in 2009 during the Bagger protests, those racist signs and Photoshopped images on the web back then were everywhere.

      Good list of more worsts, those were all such disgusting moments in this campaign. It just got worse and worse…and yet…Obama remains on top. It is a bit affirming.

    • Don’t forget the “free cell phones” lie.

      Another goodie comes from Michele Bachmann saying in an ad that she is “bipartisan and independent”.

      It truly is difficult to come up with just a few as there are so many.

  4. AdLib – we may not all agree on your picks, but we DO agree you had far too fertile a field (heavily enriched with tons of manure) from which to choose. These are masterful.

    If you have nothing else to do with your time after the election, you might want to compile a book – along the lines of the “Bush sayings” books – of ALL the insane gaffs of the Right and weirdo Left over the campaign season. Of course it would be too large to hold comfortably and too big for the average Kindle memory, but I think you’d make big money!!! Worth a thought.

    Thank you for this review. With ANY luck at all, there won’t be a lot to add between now and next week. With any luck…

    • Hey CL, as you say, there were far too many choices to be too definitive about any one in particular but I picked the ones that stood out for me.

      As this was “worsts”, I didn’t focus on all the outrages and gaffes that took place…especially because it would have made this post encyclopedia length. There are many others that could be added in.

      I think it’s way too late for anything to change the race between now and Tuesday. People are tuned out on the weekend and there will be so much static on Monday with the election being the next day, nothing can really cut through the crosstalk and speculation.

      The race and margins are pretty much frozen, it’s all about GOTV now and the Obama team is very strong at this in all the swing states. I’m expecting a near sweep of swing states for Obama and a 300 EV or greater for him. And the popular vote, of course.

  5. Adlib my friend, where do I start? I guess with the media. They have allowed Mitt Romney to lie without questioning him. They have falsely said that it too close to call.
    On to Akin and Mourdock. These two are probably the most despicable human beings ever. Rape victims should NOT be punished for their being victims of a violent crime. Forcing them to carry the seed of their tormentors is cruel and unusual punishment!

    All the other items in your story are spot on as well.
    Great job as always.

    • Nirek, I actually have noticed a slight change in the MSM this year as opposed to 2008. There seemed to be more news entities calling out Romney and his people on their lies than I remember in 2008 and before.

      I think Romney’s huge lies and wall to wall lying, being pointed out throughout the web, pressured news people to speak up for a change.

      Though the majority of lies were given life thanks to the mindless MSM, there did appear to be more interviews where the newsperson called out Romney and his shills on their BS.

      Akin and Mourdock and the hateful misogynists in the GOP don’t belong in the public eye, let alone Congress. And the good thing about them exposing their twisted views is that they won’t be in Congress and decent Dems will be instead.

      This election has been incredibly surreal. How could such people as Romney, Akin and Mourdock be viable candidates? Hopefully, this election will be seen as a turning point, a low that should serve as a wake up call.