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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features August 01, 2014

1/28/2013 10:04:00 PM
Column: Poetry has been known to soothe, as well as to amuse

Jerry Jackson
Courier columnist

Both of my kids are aware that I'm a poetry lover - preferably the type of poems that rhyme and are lowfalutin as opposed to highfalutin. So it was with that mind-set in mind that both of them chanced to buy me the same book as a Christmas gift. It's titled "Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential campaign in Verse" and was written by humorist Calvin Trillin. The only problem, though, is that No. 1 son Kerry lives in San Diego and No. 1 daughter Shannon in Prescott, so a pre-Christmas phone conversation between them produced the duplicative dilemma, which was resolved by Shannon's returning her copy to the Peregrine Book Co. down there on North Cortez for a full refund. All's well, so "they" say, that ends well.

The book's back cover featured a couple of couplets on the candidates, with a campaign slogan for Obama reading "With confidence low and firms still not hiring, 'It could have been worse' is not too inspiring." and this take on Romney: "Without the common touch that was, say, Truman's, Mitt didn't seem quite comfortable with humans."

Following are some other observations, which admittedly lean to the Right because so much of the action took place during those interminable GOP primary gives-and-takes. And the trio of debates pitting the presidential hopefuls were sort of tame in comparison, especially that first one when Obama fell asleep at the start and didn't wake up until the moderator stepped in mercifully after Romney had scored his TKO. So come, let us reason together, as LBJ (or was it MLK?) would say, or said.

First, a birther mirther at a time when The Donald was considering seeking the presidency for himself: "All White House hopefuls we forewarn: You'll have to prove that you were born. Before Trump hits the state of granite, He must identify the planet, Where he first took on human form, A place where blowhards are the norm."

On Rick Perry's entering the fray: "With even more impressive hair than Kerry, At last into the race arrives Rick Perry. Though Perry's blessed, no doubt, with splendid hair, he, Believes some things that strike some folks as scary. Observers down in Texas still are wary. The space beneath the hair, they say, is airy."

On Herman Cain, the pizza king: "Like others, he said taxes should be flat, But Cain's entire platform seemed just that. He said we could relax. We'd all be fine, If we could just remember Nine Nine Nine. A country that now seems depressed and limp'll, Be great again if we just keep things simple."

On Newt Gingrich's urge to surge: "The people who want anyone but Mitt, Now say, in desperation, Newt is it. Yes, Newt's astute - a crafty wheeler-dealer, His baggage, though, would fill an eighteen-wheeler."

On Rick Santorum's abandoning the quest: "The race will miss the purity, That you alone endow. We'll never find another man, Who's holier than thou."

On electoral quirkiness: "In states where red- or blueness is conceded, Your vote for president's not really needed. The total vote the winner can ignore. The total doesn't help. Just ask Al Gore."

On war and rumors of war: "Advisers to Mitt from the neocon right, Believe that America must show its might. Though draft dodgers all, they're in favor of force, With other folks' kids on the front lines, of course. Through Romney's campaign, they have all slithered back, The people who brought you the war in Iraq."

And finally, emoting on the cozy relationship pairing the president and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Trillin chimed in with this zinger: "The man who'd been like Romney's alter ego, Now cheered Obama as his best amigo. The pair of them, one slim and one quite lardy, Looked from afar a bit like Laurel and Hardy."

Contact the columnist at editorial@prescottaz.com.

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