Roadkill: OffTheBus's Ongoing RoundUp of the Awkward, the Ugly, and the Just Plain Weird

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET


The following piece was produced through the Huffington Post's OffTheBus. Edited by Richard Riehl and Denise Wheeler. Reported by Kirsten Anderson, River Curtis-Stanley, Jodi Lampert, Julie Pierce, and Debbi Plummer.

"Heck of a job, Brownie!": offered the candidates an opportunity to write a short essay about their campaigns. Here's what Sam Brownback had to say about taxes in his essay, posted yesterday. "I support an optional flat tax that would give people a choice: If you are happy in the current system, you may remain in it, but people could instead choose a simple, fair and family-friendly flat tax." But wouldn't that mean adding a flat tax department to the huge IRS bureaucracy, as well as hiring and training a fleet of auditors to watch over the flat taxpayers? Heck, Sam, you say you're for smaller government and more personal freedom. Why not go all the way and make taxpaying voluntary?

"Just add Mitt for a tasty treat": Roadkill is all agog over Ann Romney's brand new website. In addition to "Ann Wire," "Ann's Bio" and "Ann's Causes," we found... "Ann's Recipes." Ann claims she wants to "collect favorite family recipes from across America." The only one listed so far is a family favorite, Welsh Skillet Cakes. The directions are very straightforward, but this is a political website, so we couldn't resist suggesting the substitution of the candidate's name for "milk" and "mix" as a way for Ann to promote her husband's campaign subliminally. "Beat egg with Mitt. Add currants. Sift and add dry ingredients together. Work butter in flour and Mitt until mealy. Pour Mitt and currants over flour and butter mixture all at once and Mitt well. Wrap in wax paper and chill at least one hour." Wouldn't that be a pretty nifty way to describe the campaign and give the candidate some good advice at the same time? Or should we just leave the baking to the women?

"Back to the Future": Thompson's campaign manager, Bill Lacey, sent around this email today, reinforcing why Fred's running for president just in case we haven't had a clue what Fred's been yammering about. Thankfully, Lacey sets it straight, saying that given all that's at stake, they think it's only fair to ask all of the Republican Presidential candidates, "Where were you during the Revolution of 1994?" Were you fighting for conservative change, or standing side by side with the Democrats? Were you attacking Ronald Reagan's legacy or were you campaigning to preserve it? These are critical questions to ask because this campaign is not simply about candidates. It's about defending our conservative principles against liberals who relish the thought of turning back the conservative tide. We do not agree that 2008 calls for a tailored message or a cookie-cutter style campaign. Republicans lose elections when we lose faith in our own principles. We win when we are united and clear in our conviction. It's time for conservatives to unite. It is time to stand for the principles of our party, and the cause of our nation. This is what Fred's candidacy is all about and why he is running for president." Here's another critical question, Bill: "Which bar were you at when you wrote this?"

"More boots, less war": Here's something we haven't heard before. Fred Thompson argued yesterday for increased military spending, saying our military needs better equipment and effective leaders to fight in Iraq. "We're going to have to spend more money for the kind of threats, the old kind and the new kind," Fred said. "We're going to have to have a larger military. We're going to have to work closer with our allies." He didn't say whether these were the old kind or the new kind, but later told reporters the U.S. had initially misjudged the war (as in the U.S. President, I believe). "We clearly did not anticipate what we were confronting there, and I don't think we went into this with enough troops and I don't think we had all the equipment we needed." Due to reductions in military spending of course. "We cut back on those things and a lot of those chickens are coming home to roost," he said. "Our military is stretched thin and we've got a lot of worn out equipment. No one wants to drill in a dry hole forever." That's right, Fred. Much better to drill in taxpayers pockets than bring the military home in their worn out boots.

"Don't worry, Rudy. Cell phones work in the woods": Just when Rudy thought he had everything but the Queen of England in his pocket, the Iowa Christian Alliance went and gave him the cold shoulder over the weekend. According to the Iowa Independent, "Many presidential candidates were invited to a dinner hosted by the socially conservative Iowa Christian Alliance, Saturday evening in Des Moines, although only one obliged. Former Senator Fred Thompson made his first appearance in front of the group. But Rudy Giuliani wasn't invited." Steve Scheffler, organizer of the event and kingmaker among Republicans in the state, said: "I think a lot of our base would rather wander in the wilderness for eight to 12 years than to vote for Giuliani." Ouch! Rudy better hope Dame Judith can pitch a tent.

"Pssst--Internship=cheap labor"
: The Kucinich campaign is looking for interns! This is what happens, Dennis, when you don't have the Romney boys on your side.


If you've got tips for OffTheBus's Roadkill team, please send an email to with "Roadkill" in the subject line. If you're interested in joining our team and helping put together this feature, send an email to with "Roadkill volunteer" in the subject line.