Must-Have Holiday Gifts for Republican Candidates Going into Iowa

Yahoo Contributor Network

Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are ready to make their marks on the Iowa caucuses. Yet there are a few holes in the candidates' prep work, and must-have Christmas (or holiday) presents might help them along the way.

Here are a few choice items:

Michele Bachmann: Light reading on health care financing

"If you look at Mitt Romney as the governor of Massachusetts, he's the only governor that put into place socialized medicine," Bachmann asserted during ABC News' Iowa Republican debate. The statement -- culled from the debate transcript posted to ABC News' site -- shows a lack of understanding what socialized medicine actually represents.

In their work "An International Assessment of Health Care Financing," editors David Dunlop and Jo Martins quote economist Uwe Reinhardt, who explains that "strictly speaking, the term "socialized medicine" should be reserved for health systems in which the government operates the production of health care." Romney-care, for all its flaws, does not fit the bill. A copy of the ebook only costs $13.20 and is well worth the price.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney: A no-expenses-paid, one-week stay in L.A.'s Pico Union neighborhood

"You don't get food stamps, you get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything," CNN transcribed Gingrich during its Dec. 6 Situation Room program. Gingrich went on to opine that millionaires receive food stamps. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) disagrees with his sentiment. Romney's $10,000 bet -- caught in all its glory on a CBS News video clip -- shows that he, too, has taken a vacation from real life for too long.

It is clear that candidates Gingrich and Romney need a vacation from the ivory tower; a no-expenses-paid trip to Pico Union -- identified by City Data as one of L.A.'s poorest neighborhoods -- serves to introduce these Republicans to the food stamp recipient millionaires living in the lap of luxury. This is when they are not queued in front of the Wilshire Presbyterian Church, hoping against hope that the food pantry has not yet run out of non-perishables.

Rick Perry: Painting supplies

Loyal readers remember my Yahoo! News piece on Perry's 'N***erhead Ranch' Gate. A racial slur required several coats of paints, applied by the candidate's father. Perhaps, had Perry had the proper painting supplies, he could have jumped out of his truck and covered the offensive wording himself? The electorate always appreciates a hands-on kind of candidate.

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