The Randall Terry Moment

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 13 2012 12:35 PM

The Randall Terry Moment

Barack Obama had enemies to the right. For a few weeks last year, a ragtag posse of left-wing academics and activists, led (of course) by Ralph Nader, talked about drafting anti-Obama candidates in primary and caucus states, to bring the president into a debate on his record.

The plan fell apart. According to Nader, the group was buffalo'd by the changing primary dates. My theory at the time was that the Occupy movement vacuumed up all the energy that might have gone to a quixotic primary campaign. Regardless: The effect of the left-wing punt, and the total failure of any "Draft Hillary" movement, has given us an unexpected piece of political trivia. The man running second to Obama in the primary is Randall Terry.

I ran into Terry at CPAC. It wasn't a surprise; the "truth truck," a vividly decorated assemblage of anti-Obama, anti-aborion slogans driven by a Terry ally, was parked near the hotel, next to a broken (i.e., not in any need to be fed) meter.

IMG_5445

Terry turned out to be a presence at the Marriott Wardman Park's high-priced bar, shaking hands and updating people on his campaign. The bid allowed him to run graphic imagery of aborted fetuses in "campaign ads." One of the ads ran, at a Marriot hotel-bar-like expense, during the Super Bowl.

"We're going to run three ads in Oklahoma," he told me on his way to smoke with some conservatives outside, "starting next week. They're going to hit him on the birth control decision. We're taking his insult to Catholics, and we're picking it up and throwing it back at him." He flipped me the bird, as if I was Barack Obama. "We're doing this."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.