Rand Paul Staffer Licks A Camera & 3 Other Bizarre Things That Happened On The Campaign Trail
So, on Monday, a Rand Paul staffer licked a camera, The Washington Post reported, which is apparently all part of the normal day-to-day stuff on the presidential campaign trail. The incident happened at a campaign stop in Londonderry, New Hampshire, according to the Post, and involved a man the newspaper identified as David Chesley, the Paul campaign's New Hampshire political director, and a camera being used by a "tracker," from a group called American Bridge, a Democratic political action committee.
Trackers are people who work for opposing candidates or groups to film at events in case someone says or does something embarrassing, and the speaking candidate's staff will usually try to block the camera from filming. But getting in the way of a camera and wiping your tongue all over it is a pretty different strategy to prevent your candidate from being caught saying something... weird. Like, if say, he or she had to answer a question such as, "Why did your staffer lick that guy's camera?"
But obviously this is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that weird things have happened while on a presidential campaign trail (although I'm willing to bet it's the first camera licking incident. At least, I hope so). Here are three other weird moments from recent campaign events gone awry.
The Scream (Howard Dean, 2004)
Democrat Howard Dean of Vermont was really excited after he placed third in the Iowa caucuses in 2004. He was so excited that he got up on stage to thank supporters, and at the end of his speech let out a boyish screech. Although Dean has said he had a bad cold at the time, which led to the weird noise he made, many political observers point to the scream as the beginning of the end of the Dean campaign, who left the race about a month later.
The Kiss (Al Gore, 2000)
The usually dry Al Gore (The New York Times said Gore needed to get rid of his "robotic" image) got a little too sexy with his wife, Tipper, on stage at the 2000 Democratic Convention. He gave her a little smooch that turned into a very big smooch and a bear hug. Despite speculation that the kiss just showed a couple who were devoted to each other and happy, the Times' account of the situation suggested some believed it was little more than a political stunt. In any case, it made people a little squirmy, like watching their parents kiss on TV.
The Turkey (Sarah Palin, 2008)
In one of the more horrifying moments of the 2008 presidential campaign (OK, technically it was a couple of weeks *after* the election), Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had been the running mate for GOP nominee John McCain, visited a turkey farm in Wasilla, Alaska, to grant the traditional "pardon" to a Thanksgiving turkey. HOWEVER. She decided a TURKEY FARM just before Thanksgiving would be the perfect backdrop for a chatty interview on LIVE television. The full (graphic!) video from NBC News is here, play at your own risk.