Thursday, August 21, 2008

nomeclatura

Oh, I've been meaning to write this before Obama announces his VP choice.

There has been much talk about the crucial factors the candidate must weigh in choosing his running mate. Will the VP-pick make up for Obama's experience gap? Appeal to Clinton voters? Be consilient with the message of reform? Carry the south? Not be discovered to have once received electroconvulsive therapy?

But this misses the crucial question. Does the prospective running mate have a surname that can be stuck between 'Obama' and '2008' without yielding a bumper sticker that people are ashamed to put on their cars?

This is more difficult that you might think. Consider the options.

Obama/Biden sounds like the colloquial way of expressing a state of languid anticipation in some backcountry dialect. "The old mule, she been obamabiden' out by the barn all week."

Obama/Kaine sounds like the unrefined base crop for a hallucinogenic narcotic. "Under a new agreement with the Peruvian government, the Drug Enforcement Agency will soon begin spraying the obamakaine fields with herbicide."

Obama/Sebelius sounds like a new species of terrifying disease. "Federal authorities have imposed a quarantine on the city of Toledo until it is determined how the Obama-Sebelius strain is transmitted."

Obama/Nunn sounds like an inscrutable expression of frustration, probably coined by Catholic school students. "I dropped it! Oh, bomb a nun!"

Obama/Dodd is something a 10-month old would say. "Baababba oma babadoba obamadod dababa..."

Obama/Reed sounds like the name of an earth-killer comet. "Scientists say there is a 25% chance that Obama-Reed will strike the planet in 2053 with a force greater than the asteroid that ended the dinosaurs."

And Obama/Clinton? That sounds like the clinical name for a psychological condition characterized by unrelenting struggle between two strong personalities, resulting in the patient's inability to accomplish anything at all. "The four years I had untreated Obama-Clinton were the most confusing and traumatic of my life."

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