Last night and tonight, the Democrats and Republicans are having back-to-back debates in Miami. Next Tuesday’s Florida primary is the make-or-break contest that will shape the rest of this election season. It’s a critical battleground state in the general election with a huge number of delegates. As the candidates of both parties stump for votes over this coming weekend along the Interstate 4 corridor which runs through Orlando, we present you with a lighthearted look at what each candidate would be if they were themed amusements in the “happiest place on earth,” Walt Disney World.
Hillary Clinton – The Hall of Presidents
Secretary Clinton has a reputation for a mechanical demeanor and a general discomfort interacting with human beings, which fuels speculation that she may in fact be an animatronic Disney creation herself. If Donald Trump is the nominee, which seems increasingly likely, polls consistently show that unless she is in a federal prison by November, she will almost certainly be our next president. After the end of her term, she will be permanently installed alongside the other robotic facsimiles of the leaders of the Republic where she will jerkily recount an endless loop of pre-recorded anecdotes about her favorite political scandals to sweaty bedraggled tourists who are happy just to have air conditioning.
Bernie Sanders – Pirates of the Caribbean
The golden age of piracy is the stuff of romantic tales of swashbuckling derring-do, which makes for great entertainment, until you stop to think that pirates were really just robbers who preyed on the weak and stole from defenseless merchants. The same can be said of socialism. These thieving corsairs may seem like a bunch of jolly sailors just having a grand old time drinking their grog and singing their charming pirate songs while on shore leave, but remember that if they were real pirates, they would be emptying your pockets at the end of the ride. Then again, the modern gift shop serves the same purpose, except under a Sanders presidency, you would be forced to hand over your overpriced purchases to the person behind you in line. Yo ho ho! Feel the Bern!
John Kasich – Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is sure to pour cold water on your day which is great for the sweltering central Florida summer heat, but not so great when it kills the energy and momentum of recent presidential debates that have exposed Trump’s duplicity and cupidity. Like the Ohioan’s campaign, this ride is a sedate and meandering lazy river that doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere until it comes to a spectacular conclusion plunging down the chute. Unless Governor Kasich makes a big splash by winning his home state, also on March 15, his campaign will be going straight down the tubes and taking the Republican Party with it.
Marco Rubio – Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Do you believe in magic? Senator Rubio is a charismatic and telegenic speaker with an uplifting and optimistic dream of a future that will probably never come true. Despite his promising and hopeful message, the reality is that even if the Magic of Disney is enough to propel him to victory in the Sunshine State, he still won’t be able to win enough delegates to have an uncontested path to the nomination. Like most visionaries, perhaps this ambitious and talented young man is simply ahead of his time.
Ted Cruz – It’s a Small World
The most infamous ride at Disney World proves that you can take something that sounds wonderful and perfect on paper and make it sound really horrible and annoying in practice, much like the endlessly repetitive refrain of sing-songy saccharine-sweet children in adorable ethnic garb. Senator Cruz has good ideas and he’s a solid conservative. He’s also generally disliked by his colleagues and something at some imperceptible subconscious level makes it impossible to really connect with him. He’d make a great president before the age of television and 24×7 cable news. Fortunately, in a potential face-off with Hillary Clinton, this isn’t necessarily a handicap (see above).
Donald Trump – Alice’s Mad Tea Party
Sure, those pastel-colored frilly teacups look harmless enough, but don’t fool yourself; this is probably the only ride in the entire Magic Kingdom where you are in danger of losing your lunch. Also, did we mention you’ll be getting on this ride while tripping on acid and being bombarded with strobing blacklights and the greatest hits of Jefferson Airplane? After being accelerated around in diabolically disorienting and dizzying circles on the psychedelic political equivalent of Willy Wonka’s demented boat ride, if you can still manage to keep your balance, you will have your chance to chase the White Rabbit as he hops away to the exit in complete pitch-black darkness while the Cheshire Cat vanishes into nothingness, leaving only his disembodied gleaming teeth, a bad comb-over hanging midair, and the sound of maniacal laughter ringing in your ears.