The First Furlong

Jacob Whitehead returns from his short break with the latest edition of The Satiric Verses, this time focusing his attention across the pond.


Sorry about my disappearance last week. I was preparing to attend a Halloween party as a liberal democrat. I jest, I jest. In reality, my absence last week was down to a half term sojourn to the US, which inspired me to write this week’s piece. Now the UK election is in the books, our gazes will quickly turn across the pond to Washington, preparing for next November’s presidential election. We’re ready to witness the propaganda machines cranking up, corny badges being printed and Rick Perry’s latest failed attempt. This year, America’s status of “land of opportunity” seems to have been taken a little too literally by GOP supporters, who have put forward 17 men and women  who make Apprentice candidates look humble. Let the games begin.

The whole Republican process so far can really be summarised as a horse race. The bets are on. At the start there are two favourites. Jeb, sired from successful stock, trying to become the latest name from the Bush stable to make it big. Meanwhile, young Rubio seems to be attracting a lot of attention, a young colt so far injury-free, although inexperience is a concern. Moving down the list, there’s the big name, Trump, a flat-track bully trying to make it over the hurdles for the first time in its career, financed by a large and rich stable.

Donald Rump. (Photo: Scribd)

Donald Rump. (Photo: Scribd)

Cruz is there, the battle hardened outsider who has fought back from injury to make the starting gate. Meanwhile, on the outside there’s Bobby Jindal, the 100/1 outsider attracting bets due to a novel name. A few bets are taken off Fiorina in the show-ring due to a “demented smile.”

In the starting gate there are a number of incidents. Rand Paul has been biting and bucking, and so is quietly led out of the race, to be soothed gently with a warm sponge and oats by his supporters. Christie needs a little help to physically fit in his box, so is helped by the nice but unremarkable Kasich. The crowd are restless, whilst the horses seem frustrated by the moderators’ insistence on a fair test. Trump’s jockey is warned for use of an illegal whip, at which point Carson’s jockey leaps to his defence, claiming that the Holocaust could have been avoided if more whips were used.

The gun goes off. Two groups form, with Perry disappointed to only be at the head of the second. No matter; despite his fancy Texan spurs he crashes at the first hurdle, and a curtain is swiftly erected. Panning back up the field to the leaders, a number of riders are concerned that Trump is blocking their racing line. Walker attempts to overtake, but in the process his jockey falls off. The rudderless Walker causes havoc for a short time, before being quickly gathered in and retired by course marshals. Jeb, previously having been battling with Trump and Rubio for the lead, seems to be virtually going backwards, much to the chagrin of his owners. No polos for Jeb at the Bush stable tonight.

Perry in happier times. (Photo: Imgarcade)

Perry in happier times. (Photo: Imgarcade)

The order then: Rubio leads by a nose from Trump, despite the latter veering over to the side of the course, presumably to evaluate the racetrack fence’s capability to keep out the Mexicans. Cruz’s old legs seem to be getting the better of him as he pulls over to the side; his jockey’s epithets at this will see him fined post-race. Carson tries to use Trump’s slipstream to catapult himself into the lead, but is quickly enveloped by Christie and Kasich, who keep themselves in the hunt. Following these two are the much maligned Jeb and the previously unmentioned Huckabee, who had earlier stopped to vehemently protest by Perry’s curtain about the right to life. Fiorina is making a run to join this front group, leaving the other runners behind – the no-hopers whose main aim is to avoid irreparable damage over the rest of the course.

The horses continue to jump the barriers, each egged on by their own vociferous section of the media. Yet there is still a year left to run. Hopefully this horseplay has enlightened you about the runners and riders. Place your bets carefully, this one is unpredictable.

Cruz is there, the battle hardened outsider who has fought back from injury to make the starting gate. Meanwhile, on the outside there’s Bobby Jindal, the 100/1 outsider attracting bets due to a novel name. A few bets are taken off Fiorina in the show-ring due to a “demented smile.”

In the starting gate there are a number of incidents. Rand Paul has been biting and bucking, and so is quietly led out of the race, to be soothed gently with a warm sponge and oats by his supporters. Christie needs a little help to physically fit in his box, so is helped by the nice but unremarkable Kasich. The crowd are restless, whilst the horses seem frustrated by the moderators’ insistence on a fair test. Trump’s jockey is warned for use of an illegal whip, at which point Carson’s jockey leaps to his defence, claiming that the Holocaust could have been avoided if more whips were used.

The gun goes off. Two groups form, with Perry disappointed to only be at the head of the second. No matter; despite his fancy Texan spurs he crashes at the first hurdle, and a curtain is swiftly erected. Panning back up the field to the leaders, a number of riders are concerned that Trump is blocking their racing line. Walker attempts to overtake, but in the process his jockey falls off. The rudderless Walker causes havoc for a short time, before being quickly gathered in and retired by course marshals. Jeb, previously having been battling with Trump and Rubio for the lead, seems to be virtually going backwards, much to the chagrin of his owners. No polos for Jeb at the Bush stable tonight.

The order then: Rubio leads by a nose from Trump, despite the latter veering over to the side of the course, presumably to evaluate the racetrack fence’s capability to keep out the Mexicans. Cruz’s old legs seem to be getting the better of him as he pulls over to the side; his jockey’s epithets at this will see him fined post-race. Carson tries to use Trump’s slipstream to catapult himself into the lead, but is quickly enveloped by Christie and Kasich, who keep themselves in the hunt. Following these two are the much maligned Jeb and the previously unmentioned Huckabee, who had earlier stopped to vehemently protest by Perry’s curtain about the right to life. Fiorina is making a run to join this front group, leaving the other runners behind – the no-hopers whose main aim is to avoid irreparable damage over the rest of the course.

The horses continue to jump the barriers, each egged on by their own vociferous section of the media. Yet there is still a year left to run. Hopefully this horseplay has enlightened you about the runners and riders. Place your bets carefully, this one is unpredictable.

 

(Inspired by an idea by Slate Magazine which can be found here.)

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