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The 2008 Election: Superlatives

If you’re a sports fan like me, the coming of Election Day probably feels a lot like the end of baseball season. So, just as they do in baseball for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, it seems only natural to select this electoral season’s superlatives before a winner is officially declared. (You’ll excuse me for announcing the winners now, rather than waiting until after the election.) The winners:

Best Campaign Logo: Barack Obama. The “O” symbol is a triumph of marketing genius. Never before has a presidential campaign been so effectively branded.

Worst Campaign Logo: Mitt Romney. They aimed for something patriotic. They got an eagle’s head on a slug’s body.

Most Valuable Celebrity Endorsement: Chuck Norris (for Mike Huckabee). With stunning hilarity, he helped catapult Huckabee from Arkansan obscurity to Iowa victory.

Honorable mention: Oprah Winfrey (for Barack Obama).

Least Valuable Celebrity Endorsement: James Denton (for John Edwards). What can the endorsement of a Desperate Housewives star really tell you about a candidate? (Oh, right.)

Best Political Spouse: Cindy McCain. Four years after a near-fatal stroke, she’s supported her husband at seemingly every campaign stop for nearly two years.

Worst Political Spouse: Bill Clinton. His outbursts occupied the news cycle for days and undermined his wife’s candidacy.

Most Athletic Candidate: Sarah Palin. She runs marathons and hunts moose–from a helicopter!

Honorable mention: Barack Obama.

Least Athletic Candidate: Hillary Clinton. After mocking Obama’s miserable bowling performance, she bowled a 1 on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Best Candidate Satire: John McCain at the Al Smith Dinner. He mixed funny self-deprecation in with a tasteful roast of his opponent. A great moment for a candidate with an excellent sense of humor.

Worst Candidate Satire: Sarah Palin on SNL. What kind of message does it send when you sit there and say little while a second-rate cast (not you, Darrell Hammond) mocks you?

Most Embellished Biography: Bill Richardson. You’d think that a former Energy Secretary, U.N. Ambassador, and Congressman–who is also the current Governor of New Mexico –wouldn’t have to lie about being drafted by the A’s. You’d be wrong.

The Silent Until Deadly Award: Joe Biden. Initially, Sarah Palin overshadowed him. Then he promised that, if elected, Barack Obama would be tested. Within six months.

The Woody Allen Award: Joe the Plumber. Eighty percent of political life is showing up … and asking the candidate a question.

The Sabbatai Zevi Award: Fred Thompson. He was supposed to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Instead, he was the second coming of Lamar Alexander.

The Can You Hear Me Now … GoodTM Award: Rudy Giuliani. Despite the promise of his campaign, the phone call during his NRA address remains its most enduring image.


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