There may be many people who considered Super Tuesday worthy of its superlative, but don't count Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart among them. On Wednesday, both "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show" hosts tore into the idea that the big vote-a-thon had any role in decisively picking the front-runner for the 2012 Republican ticket.
Colbert called it a "a big, sweaty pile of lever-yankin' Republican voters." And for those who find that characterization disrespectful, he explained: "like most orgies, it involves a bunch of middle-aged guys who are not appealing to women."
Colbert also checked in on his "Countdown to Loving Mitt" clock and realized to his horror that there were just two minutes or so left for him to figure out how to love the likely Republican nominee, so he had to scramble. Hoping for affirmation from pundits that he could now love Romney without reservation, Colbert turned to clips -- but the pundits said nothing of the kind. Desperate to make time stand still, Colbert tried cutting the clock's wires, but couldn't decide whether to snip the white, off-white or beige ones. "For some reason, none of these wires are exciting me," he said.
But Colbert prevailed by smacking the "snooze" button on his clock, giving himself four more days to learn to love Mitt. The thing is, as he points out, if no one can really com-Mitt to the candidate, Republicans could have an open convention in which anyone could be nominated. A clip from Sarah Palin indicated she wouldn't "close any doors" to being selected herself. That means it could literally be anyone running against President Obama -- including a baby sloth clothed in pajamas ... or the iPad 3.
Stewart, on the other hand, focused on the long, long, long race to Tampa by introducing "Endless Suffrage 2012" to frame his Super Tuesday roundup. This campaign has gone on forever, he said: "Seriously, it is like the Republican nominee for president is being selected at this point by erosion." To him, Super Tuesday wasn't super because it was supposedly -- like Superman -- sent to Earth in a crystal spaceship moments before Krypton exploded -- but because it would produce a decisive nominee.
Clip after clip then followed focusing on how Ohio would make this decision: Whoever won Ohio would get the nomination. Mitt Romney won in Ohio, which allowed Stewart to relax, pulling out a snifter of brandy and a smoking pipe. "Unless...." he warned, cutting to clips of pundits who then said that while Romney won Ohio, he hadn't delivered a knockout punch to his competition. Away went the brandy and pipe.
"(Super Tuesday) was supposed to be decisive -- the shot heard 'round the world," sighed Stewart. "Now it's the shot that was mathematically inconclusive."
Both Colbert and Stewart had one thing in common (other than mocking Super Tuesday in general) -- and that was mercilessly making fun of CNN's "virtual" convention center. The cable news network spent a lot of time and money creating a fake interior of the Tampa Bay Times Forum convention center where the Republican Convention will be held. Colbert put on his own headset, glove and microphone to do a virtual walk-through and discovered he had a tentacle for an arm. Stewart, on the other hand, watched a recreation of how the delegates will conform to the seating arrangements for each candidate, and was impressed by the number of virtual flag-wavers there were for Romney.
"Wow, Mitt Romney is very popular with those artificially-rendered computer people," he said. "I think we may have found his base."
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