Dave Barry

Dave Barry: In New Hampshire, there’s populism in the water supply!

Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro endorses New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president in New Hampshire on Monday
Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro endorses New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president in New Hampshire on Monday AP

And so, at last, the time has come for the people of New Hampshire to make their voices heard, and then shut up because frankly we are getting tired of them.

If the polls are right — and when have the polls ever been wrong? — the winners in the New Hampshire primary will be Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, indicating that a major factor influencing voters this year is populism, by which I mean narcotics in the water supply.

Trump, taking his front-runner status seriously, is starting to focus, laser-like, on the issues, as evidenced by the statement he tweeted out at 9:03 p.m. Sunday (really): “So far the Super Bowl is very boring.”

I have to agree: The game was dismal. Also I was deeply disturbed by the commercial for a drug called Xifaxan that featured a cartoon depiction of a human intestine running around a stadium looking for a place to poop. This comes on the heels of those commercials for a drug called Myrbetriq featuring a cartoon depiction of a human bladder that keeps dragging some poor woman to the bathroom. If this trend continues it is only a matter of time before we see a Viagra commercial featuring a cartoon depiction of a male anatomical unit doing God knows what and I DON’T WANT MY GRANDCHILDREN TO GROW UP IN A WORLD LIKE THAT.

I apologize for shouting, but waterboarding is too good for the people who make drug ads. Also they need to learn to spell.

Getting back to the New Hampshire primary: I attended a “Super Bowl watch party” in Manchester hosted by the Marco Rubio campaign. They had pizza, sodas, big projection screens and a large crowd, including a massive media corps that was gang-interviewing New Hampshire voters to within an inch of their lives.

Rubio, who is battling for second place here, has been under fire from his opponents for allegedly being robotic and repeating the same programmed speech modules over and over. But he did pretty well in his remarks at the watch party, once his handlers installed fresh batteries.

I’m kidding! Rubio is not powered by batteries. He is powered by nuclear fusion. And I thought he made some good points:

▪ ON AMERICA: He is for it.

▪ ON DISCO: He is against it.

His actual quote, which I swear I am not making up, was: “When I am president, I am going to ban disco music on all radio stations. Except the Bee Gees and Donna Summer.”

After Rubio spoke he was swarmed by the usual mob of voters and media. I got caught up in this mob, and as we all surged forward, I came close enough to Rubio to shout a question at him, a question that had been troubling me, as a media person and an American, since the event began.


This was true. There was no beer. At a so-called Super Bowl watch party.


“IT’S AN OUTRAGE,” he shouted back, although he didn’t really sound that upset, probably because he didn’t plan to stay. He left the watch party before kickoff, as did almost everybody else, including me. I wound up watching the Super Bowl at my hotel, which has beer. It’s also where the Chris Christie campaign is housed. I haven’t seen the governor yet, but I have bumped into his pizza-delivery forklift.

No, I apologize. That was an insensitive joke, and I am instructing the jury to disregard it. However, I must note that on Monday Christie was endorsed (really) by TV personality Buddy Valastro, a.k.a. the “Cake Boss.”

Also staying at my hotel are some Secret Service dogs. You can tell which room they’re in because the door handle has a sign hanging from it that says WARNING CANINE DO NOT ENTER. They don’t want anybody barging in and catching the dogs watching Slutty Chihuahuas Gone Wild on pay-per-view.

Speaking of wild: It’s snowing here AGAIN, so I’m leaving New Hampshire and heading back to Florida (motto: “At Least We Don’t Have Moose”). This will be my last column from the campaign trail, for now. I hope my reports have helped you understand how our democratic process works. If they have, could you please explain it to me? Because I honestly have no idea.

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