Any magazine can do a year-end list of influential people who have accomplished far more than most of us ever will. But only GQ possesses the iron testicles to count down the twenty-five least significant men and women of 2012—a collection of people so uninspiring that we should round them all up and stick them on an iceberg. Please note that these folks are ranked in no particular order, because all zeros are created equal.
Forget Big Bird. Forget P90x. Forget Clint Eastwood and his empty chair. John Surico provides the all-important guide to getting back to how we once lived, before that time we spent 18 months and $6 billion to re-elect the president:
The Inevitable Post-Mortem Cycle
Now that Obama has reclaimed his throne, you can expect the second half of November to be filled with what happened pieces. Some predictable headlines: “The Rise and Fall of Mitt Romney,” “What Will Happen To Him Now,” “What Did He Do Wrong,” and, of course, “What Will Happen In The Second Term of President Obama.” The election craziness will drag on for a few weeks as everyone pours over the results and spits out mind-numbing conclusions about our national sanity.
Are we really just a conglomerate of red and blue battlegrounds? What does Obama’s election really mean? With a little less than half of the voting population fed up with the President’s policies, is the sake of the Oval Office’s legitimacy lost for the next four years? Answers to come. Oh, and don’t forget about the Congressional situation, the new Cabinet appointees and the like. Ugh, we still have a lot to deal with.
“Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue.”
- Turn viciously on your own candidate, renouncing him and shitting all over every mistake he made on the campaign trail.
- Make a snide remark about how horrible the next four years will be. “Hope you like prolonged unemployment, people!”
- Try and remove your candidate’s bumper sticker, only to realize that it’s permanently affixed.
- Vow that your party will come back stronger than ever in the next election. Undermine the winning candidate immediately, at every turn, in hopes that public sentiment will eventually go your way. Because it will. Have you met American voters? All we do is switch majority parties every six years or so. Our discontent is more reliable than a Hanes Beefy-T. Don’t fret. You’re party will get another chance to fuck everything up somewhere down the road, probably sooner rather than later. Oh goody.
After the first presidential debate in Denver, things got really bizarre or fascinating: suddenly a boisterous, um, debate began online, on television, and over watercoolers across the country not just about the candidates’ performances but the man tasked with refereeing the candidates, lifelong journalist and longtime PBS broadcaster, a man moderating his twelfth Presidential debate, Jim Lehrer. We wanted to know what it felt like to draw the ire of the left, so long his fans, who felt that Romney ran roughshod over him. And we wanted to know how it felt to have the praise of Sean Hannity and others at the other end of the political spectrum. We wanted to know what would he do differently. And what advice he has for Candy Crowley and Bob Schieffer, who’ll be officiating the last two debates. So we called him at his home in Washington DC to find out:
GQ: Will you watch the next debates?
Jim Lehrer: Oh sure, absolutely I’m going to watch all the debates.
GQ: What’s your advice for the moderator of the other debates?
Jim Lehrer: Oh, it’s always the same for everybody: just remember that it isn’t about you. If you can do that, you’re 99 percent there. Moderators should stand up in front of a mirror and say “It’s not about me; it’s not about me; it’s not about me; it’s not about me” so you don’t—because what’s so easy, particularly in a single-moderator format—it’s like holding dynamite in your hands. You have a lot of power.
GQ: I wonder if you feel that they’re not being asked enough questions in general.
Jim Lehrer: Well, probably. Probably so. I’ll tell you: my frustration, to be specific, on Wednesday night and speaking of questions, was because things did run over, there were a lot of questions that I was going to ask that I didn’t get to. Not questions so much as subjects I was going to get to, and I was not able to do that.