© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Twas The Night Before Christmas, 2016 Presidential Politics Version

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reflected in a Christmas tree ornament during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
Mary Schwalm

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Or A Virtual Visit From St. Marco

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, who first published his version 192 years ago today.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
Not one candidate spoke — no, not even Rand.
Not a voice could be heard at a town hall or forum,
Not even Pataki or poor Rick Santorum.

The pollsters were nestled all snug in their beds
With echoes of focus groups still in their heads.
Mama in her headscarf and I in my hoodie
Had just settled down in our NPR footies ...

When on CNN there arose such a clatter
I grabbed my remote to see what was the matter.
Unmuted, the Wolf imparted the latest:
Survey results showing who's now the greatest.

These mind-boggling findings had Hillary behind
As Bernie's believers outnumbered her kind.
And giving them both a case of the fidgets
Was Martin O'Malley, who made double digits!

Yet the grandest of shocks was not Clinton's number
But the G-O-P, as if roused from its slumber,
Deserting The Donald and flocking to Huck!
(That Arkansas pastor long down on his luck.)

Astounding percentages flew 'cross my screen
No panel of pundits could say what it means ...
"The last shall be first" is no longer a fable,
As the Reverend ascends from the dread "kiddie table."

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a Rubio hologram shaking with fear.
He looked like a ghost from that old Dickens play ...
"I'm Clinton's worst nightmare" was all he could say.

"You're in the wrong story," I said with alarm,
You're looking for Scrooge or the White Christmas Farm ...
You should be in Iowa or in Nevada,
Or trying to look at the DNC's data."

"I don't need those places," young Rubio grinned,
"When I win my home state they'll be sucking wind.
After Florida, Ted Cruz can just kiss my fanny.
'Cause I'll be the Man, just like Giuliani."

"I'll beat that Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson too,
And that blowhard Trump will be just about through.
Smarty Carly will wish she were still at H-P.
Maybe Christie or Kasich could be my V.P. ... "

"It's all an illusion," I said to my bride,
"And I really don't know how this guy got inside.
So humor him now and don't be a doubter.
He may just disappear if I turn off the router."

So I wished Marco luck as I slipped out of bed.
"No, don't disconnect me!" the hologram pled.
To the cable I lunged in the box on the wall,
"Now dash away, dash away, dash away all."

But I heard him to mutter, 'ere he vanished from sight.
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for NPR.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.