October Surprise

Now we know just how far candidates will go -- and just how much Pimp Juice they'll drink -- for an endorsement

"When faced with fashion, Russ is like an old-school frat jock," complains D-Sly.

He gives the monochromatic Carnahan a style score of four for picking out a blue suit, blue tie and blue shirt.

But at least true-blue Carnahan is able to come up with something. Federer stares blankly at the clothes in a tortuous fit of fashion constipation. It's now seems apparent why Federer was late this morning. Evidently the 47-year-old politico was forced to dress himself. Fumbling for help, he turns to his wife.

D-Sly, our own queer-eye guy, advises Carnahan, 
"Untuck the shirt, ya big dork!"
Jennifer Silverberg
D-Sly, our own queer-eye guy, advises Carnahan, "Untuck the shirt, ya big dork!"
They're off: Leslie may not beat Lacy, but he edged out 
Russ and Bill.
Jennifer Silverberg
They're off: Leslie may not beat Lacy, but he edged out Russ and Bill.
To the victor go the spoils. Or at least that last 
refreshing can of Pimp Juice.
Jennifer Silverberg
To the victor go the spoils. Or at least that last refreshing can of Pimp Juice.

"Shut it down, Mama!" yells D-Sly when Sue tries to assist her fumbling husband. At long last, Federer arrives at a white shirt, red tie and navy-blue suit. D-Sly gives him a three for his effort. Carnahan barely wins the fashion vote, and the score reads: Federer 2, Carnahan 2. It's now down to the final event. The stakes are high. A coveted RFT endorsement hangs in the balance. A state of apprehension falls over the bowling alley.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest to all of you today that we would prefer that our representatives in the nation's capital be fast on their feet," says the moderator, his eloquence soaring higher with each event. "We need skillful politicians who can take an important piece of legislation and deliver it across the finish line." After a dramatic pause, he barks, "You guessed it: time for the 50-yard dash."

Along the sidewalk on Delmar Boulevard, the candidates huddle at the starting line.

In high school, Federer was a state finalist in the high hurdles, and he expresses disappointment that there will be no leaping in today's forum finale. Farr, who has added significant girth since his days at Lafayette High School, was also an accomplished track star in the 100- and 200-yard dash. It would seem Carnahan is the underdog.

With a blast of the starter's pistol, the candidates are off. Farr jumps to a quick lead. To his left, Federer breaks into a long steady gait, a veritable Smarty Jones. His face twisted into a grimace, Russ Carnahan is pounding the pavement as hard as he can, but still he's bringing up the rear. Now he's gaining, gaining...falling back...then gaining again. Still, Federer is a half-step ahead of Russ.

"Go, Bill, go!" yells Sue Federer.

It's going to be tight.

As quickly as it began, the race is over, with all contenders crossing over a well-marked crack in the sidewalk in just under six seconds. And the winner: Leslie Farr, by a good stride and a half. "Yesss!" he cries out.

But it's the result of the Federer-Carnahan sprint that is of greatest consequence at this moment. Time stands still. It's close, very close. But the photos taken make it unmistakably clear -- Bill Federer has nipped his opponent by a mere step. The RFTCandidate Forum is over. The final score: Bill Federer 3, Russ Carnahan 2.

Congratulations, Mr. Federer, you have our endorsement on November 2.

Note to our readers: The RFT will be back in Fall 2006 with our Second Biannual Candidate Forum, with an all-new array of political competitions. Can they get any sillier? Why, yes. Yes, they can.

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