Friday night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hosted a forum with the three Democratic candidates, and, during the forum, she had a "stunt" segment with each of the candidates, in which they had to choose an envelope and she would ask them whatever unserious questions were contained in the envelope. It was a good "stunt," in that it really gave viewers a chance to see the candidates as themselves, as much as it's possible to see someone as her- or himself during a presidential race.
Those videos, with transcripts, are at the end of this post, below the fold. My favorite moment of all three videos: When Senator Bernie Sanders replies, in response to a question about what he misses that technology has made obsolete, "I miss the fact that when I'm in a car, or at home, there are not all kinds of buzzes and noises going off, making me a nervous wreck. I miss peace and quiet, which I very much enjoy!"
Sanders doesn't like constant alerts but wants to be president?! LOL whoooooooooops!
And on Saturday night, gold toilet aficionado Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live, because NBC decided it was a cool idea to give him a shitload of free airtime, and I half-watched it until I fell asleep, and what I was saw was dreadful. Possibly the worst part was when Larry David, who was there playing Bernie Sanders again, shouted "You're a racist!" at him during the opening monologue, which was so obviously staged, and thus a mockery of Deport Racism's promise to give $5,000 to anyone who disrupted the show by calling Trump a racist. And apparently he's gonna collect.
Corporate power-failure Carly Fiorina has defended her lack of concrete policy proposals by saying: "How often do politicians put out detailed plans? How often do they get enacted? Never. Anybody can write a plan, anybody can put a plan on a website. It's another thing to say, 'You know what I think we need to do?' and say it over and over again in public." Um, okay.
Lying liar Ben Carson says that drug abuse "can be traced back to an over-emphasis on 'political correctness.'" Sounds legit.
In other news, trainwreck Jeb Bush, pugilist Chris Christie, Joe McCarthy impersonator Ted Cruz, real person Jim Gilmore, reasonable-by-comparison Lindsey Graham, professor of Bible bigotry Mike Huckabee, nerdiest clown Bobby Jindal, "moderate" John Kasich, charisma void George Pataki, proximate apple Rand Paul, thirsty jerk Marco Rubio, and waking nightmare Rick Santorum are all still running for president.
Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.
Maddow: Here's the stunt.Bernie Sanders:
Maddow: I promise it won't hurt. [O'Malley laughs, as she holds out four envelopes] Pick one—I don't know what's in any of the four. There's four here—pick one.
O'Malley: This is like—
Maddow: What this is, these— Go ahead, I won't hurt you. I won't hurt you! [audience laughter]
O'Malley: —Johnny Carson and the swami thing. [He picks and envelope and holds it to his forehead] So I go like this? [audience laughter]
Maddow: [takes the envelope] These are not policy questions. They are also not questions that will make you look or feel dumb. [O'Malley laughs] And I promise I will do it to the other candidates as well. Ready?
Maddow: If you had to catch your own food to survive, would you hunt or would you fish? [audience laughter]
O'Malley: I would fish.
Maddow: High-speed rail coast-to-coast or a manned mission to Mars?
O'Malley: Why— I reject the premise of your question! I believe we can do both!
Maddow: Awesome! [audience applause] Was there ever a time in your life when you were a smoker?
Maddow: Never ever?
Maddow: What is—the last one—what is the most impractical item of clothing that you own? [audience laughter; O'Malley laughs] I'm so glad this question is for a man! [Maddow laughs]
O'Malley: A kilt! And it was given to me. [audience applause]
Maddow: Fair enough. We'll be right back with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.
Maddow: Senator, we're going to take a quick break; when we come back, a have a lot of serious questions for you, but first you have to do this stupid thing. [audience laughter] This is to try to make you hate me as much as you hate the rest of the media.Hillary Clinton:
Sanders: Nooooo. I'll never hate you, kid.
Maddow: These are not about policy, like I said—
Sanders: I know.
Maddow: —but they are not designed to make you look or feel dumb. [holds out envelopes] Pick one.
Sanders: How many pair of underwear do I have, is that it? [audience laughter]
Maddow: Well, I would never ask— I— If you care to volunteer the information—
Sanders: Am I really Larry David?! [audience laughter; he picks an envelope] Okay.
Maddow: All right. Here we go. [clears throat]
Sanders: Watch—it's the underwear question! I know it.
Maddow: No, I swear!
Sanders: It is. [laughter]
Maddow: Had there been any underwear questions, I would've been too embarrassed to ask them. [Sanders laughs] I get all red and I break out in hives. [clears throat] Dream job that you would like to have right now if you could not be a politician.
Sanders: Ummmm, president of CNN. [audience laughter and applause]
Maddow: Nice. [nods approvingly and grins] That—
Sanders: If I was president of CNN, trust me, the way media deals with politics would radically change. [laughter and applause]
Maddow: Look out, Mr. Zucker!
Sanders: Or maybe—maybe MSNBC, that's okay, too. I didn't mean to be—
Maddow: I won't talk about that! Just—for obvious reasons. [laughter] All right, number two. What do you most miss that technology has made obsolete?
Sanders: Books. Ummmm—
Maddow: Paper books.
Sanders: Paper books. Um, I miss the fact that when I'm in a car, or at home, there are not all kinds of buzzes and noises going off, making me a nervous wreck. [laughter] I miss peace and quiet, which I very much enjoy!
Maddow: [laughs] You want to go back to a pre-alert time in life. Okay.
Maddow: Do you curse?
Sanders: [motions as though he is going to shout and curse angrily; laughter] Not on this show!
Maddow: Very good! [applause] All right. And last one: What is the biggest public misconception about you?
Sanders: Um, well, people think I am grumpy. [laughter] People think I am too serious. Uh, but I think what people don't see, uh, is I have seven beautiful grandchildren, who are the joy of my life, so. [smiles]
Maddow: This is how this goes: The questions in here are not policy questions. They're also not designed to make you look or feel dumb. [Clinton laughs] So don't hate me for making you do this. Everybody else did it, too. You have to pick one. [holds out envelopes]Shakesville is run exclusively on donations. If you appreciate the curated news about the 2016 presidential election, please consider making a donation, if you are able. Thanks!
Clinton: Okay, okay—here you go. This one. This is like: The Academy Award goes to...
Maddow: Yeah, except opposite! [audience laughter; Clinton laughs] 'Cause it's no reward. All right. If you had time to learn a new language, which language would you pick?
Clinton: Spanish. [applause]
Clinton: Because we have a lot of Spanish-speaking people in our country! [laughs; audience laughter and applause] And I wanna know how to communicate better with them!
Maddow: Very good! Introvert or extrovert?
Clinton: I am an extro-introvert. [audience laughter; Maddow gives her a "come on" look] And here's what I mean about that! I mean, you know, I love, like, I love being with people, I love all of the excitement, and I love meeting people and hearing their stories, but I also like time alone, and I like to think and relax and sleep and stuff like that. [laughter] So I guess I'm a little of both.
Maddow: Okay, all right. Um, this is a hard one, and you're not allowed to squirm out of it, I'll let you know in advance. [points finger warningly at Clinton]
Clinton: [mouths "WOW" to the audience] Can I delegate it to someone else? [Clinton laughs; audience laughs]
Maddow: Nope! There are no lifelines on this stage.
Clinton: Ohhhhh dear.
Maddow: If you had to pick somebody, you had to—
Maddow: —from the Republican presidential field this year to be your vice president—[Clinton looks aghast, then laughs as the audience laughs] There was a national crisis, and there had to be a unity ticket— [the audience roars, as Clinton puts her head in her hands] And it was for the good of the nation! And those were your choices, those fifteen men and women—
Clinton: Mm! [squinches up her face]
Maddow: —who would you choose? Ruin their life right here, do it.
Clinton: Well, I'm gonna say, you know, whoever I name will really get hurt in the Republican Party [grins] and so I don't know if I want to do that. But, um, wow...
Maddow: You could use this tactically. You could decide—
Clinton: Yeah, I could. [laughter] You know, there are Republicans I could pick—just none of them. [laughs; audience cheers and applause]
Maddow: Okay. But for this question, ya gotta pick one of them.
Clinton: Ohhhhh. You know, Rachel, I—I'm not gonna pick one of them. I know, I know you're gonna be disappointed; I know people are gonna say I dodged the question; the fact is, I am dodging it. [Maddow laughs] I don't want to pick any of them. [laughter] Not to be my running mate! I'll work with them all! But I don't want them to be my running mate. [shakes her head; laughter]
Maddow: When I say the phrase "hush puppy," do you think: food, footwear, or Fido?
Clinton: I think the first two. Eating hush puppies in my hush puppies, that's what I think. [laughter]
Maddow: All right, thank you for letting me do that. Black mark against you for squirming out of the v.p. one, but—
Clinton: I'm sorry.