Florida becomes election jokes punch line again

 

The Miami Herald

Florida blew its chance to help determine the presidency, but did win a fabulous booby prize: another starring role in many a late-night and Internet punch line.

Jon Stewart, host of the popular Daily Show, looked on the bright side Wednesday night, noting that unlike during the infamous 2000 Bush-Gore race, the entire nation wasn’t waiting on Florida to figure out who won.

“Here’s the good news: The election was decided without them,’’ Stewart said, drawing a rousing cheer from his studio audience. “For once, Florida’s clusterf---ery is irrelevant.’’

He also indelicately compared the state map to a flaccid male organ and, in another nod to the 2000 fiasco, noted the inherent problem of giving “a 10-page novelette state ballot to people who couldn’t handle a [expletive deleted] one-page butterfly ballot.’’

The jokes, naturally, didn’t play quite as well with South Florida elections officials and political leaders.

At a news conference Thursday, a local TV reporter asked Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley how she felt about the county being “the butt of a lot of jokes.’’

Townsley, weary-looking from three days of around-the-clock work, replied without a smile. “I can tell you that I am proud of Miami-Dade County and the way that we conduct elections. The incidents that occurred in this election are unfortunate. But the fact of the matter is, we will use those lessons to improve upon already a very good process.’’

A few other selected witticisms about Florida’s long lines, tardy tabulations and reputation for bungling:

Jimmy Kimmel: “President Obama defeated Mitt Romney last night. We know this for sure despite the fact that the returns from Florida still have not been counted. What goes on in Florida? They had four years to fix this. We need to make sure Florida never gets the Olympics.”

Craig Ferguson: “The long national nightmare is finally over. We have expressed our will at the polls. The results have been tallied and we proved once again that American democracy is alive and well — even if Florida was more confused than an old person with an iPhone.”

Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen also weighed in during an appearance Thursday on CBS This Morning. He blamed the long lines on Gov. Rick Scott’s refusal to extend early voting days, but also said the troubles were hardly a surprise in a state he called “a 24-hour freak show.’’

“We can’t seem to figure out how to count a ballot, and it could be years before we know how Florida went in this election,” he said.

Despite the national jokes, Hiaasen said Floridians were relieved that this time, the foul-ups were simply a sideshow.

“We’re just very, very grateful that the future of the republic did not depend on us,” he deadpanned.

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Mayor to announce plans for closed rec center

    Mayor Mike Duggan will announce the future of Detroit's vacant and dilapidated Brewster Wheeler recreation center.

  •  
Japanese pro-wrestler turned politician Kanji "Antonio" Inoki waves as he arrives at the Sunan International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Inoki is staging a two-day martial arts extravaganza in Pyongyang over the weekend featuring former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp in an oddball attempt at sports diplomacy just as relations between North Korea and Japan are beginning to thaw.

    Japanese lawmaker, ex-NFL lineman in North Korea

    A Japanese pro-wrestler-turned-politician arrived in North Korea with a former NFL lineman and more than a dozen martial artists on Thursday for the first big sports event featuring well-known foreigners since Dennis Rodman's controversial basketball game earlier this year.

  •  
FILE - This Aug. 2, 2014 file photo shows demonstrators protesting at Freedom Plaza in Washington asking President Barack Obama to modify his deportations policies. The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama's impending executive actions on immigration. Facing an expect onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue that by failing to provide enough resources to fully enforce U.S. laws, lawmakers have ceded wide latitude to White House to prioritize deportations, administration officials and legal experts said. But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they’ve deemed an egregious presidential overstep.

    White House preps legal case for immigration steps

    With impeachment threats and potential lawsuits looming, President Barack Obama knows whatever executive actions he takes on immigration will face intense opposition. So as a self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act approaches, Obama's lawyers are carefully crafting a legal rationale they believe will withstand scrutiny and survive any court challenges, administration officials say.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category