Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, for some voters, presidential elections are much less frequent.
Still, as we're mere days from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus, our nation's leaders could use a few valuable Christmas presents -- now more than ever.
Yahoo! News asked readers and writers from Yahoo! Contributor Network to don their Santa hats and tell us who's naughty, who's nice and who's, well, really naughty. And, as you'll see below, sometimes the best gifts are the gifts of necessity.
Here is a selection of their ideas. Have one yourself? Leave a comment or sign up with Yahoo! Contributor Network to write about politics and more.
Rick Perry would like a "How to Debate" guide. Once the toast of the GOP, Perry has taken a nosedive Howard Dean would be proud of. The Texas governor is a gaffe machine, unable to name Supreme Court justices, the amount of justices who sit on the court, or the federal departments he would eliminate. His debate performances have been nothing less than embarrassing. Yet Perry continues to ask for the support of 21-year-olds... um, I mean 18-year-olds, for the New Hampshire caucuses, er, I mean primaries. Read more.
For Joe Biden, how about some duct tape? From exposing the secret location of the vice president's secure bunker to dropping the f-bomb near an open mic, the man clearly doesn't know when to stop talking.
For Barack Obama, a long-range remote-controlled Biden taser. Read more.
With his apparent affinity for the ladies, I would give Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, the nine ladies dancing from "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I thought about adding the eight maids-a-milking, but that would just be piling on.
For 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. Read more.
According to Reuters, the aging Newt Gingrich, 68, has been offered $1 million to drop out of the Republican campaign by radio host Michael Savage, who said that Newt looks like a "fat, old, white man." Old Mr. Gingrich obviously needs a surgically enhanced makeover. The conservative foil to President Bill Clinton during the '90s, Gingrich undeniably possesses the gift of gab... if he has the looks to match, he might be unstoppable!
Rick Perry, the governor of Texas who is trailing abysmally in the polls after a strong start late in the summer, should ask Santa for a temporary case of laryngitis. The gaffe-prone conservative who has had epic debate bumbles has landed himself in more trouble with his vocal stumbling than anything else. Read more.
-- Owen Rust
With only a 16 percent approval rating, Congress doesn't really deserve any Christmas gifts at all. Voters feeling the need to give something can send their elected representatives a lump of coal and a copy of Barry Gordon's "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas." Sorry, Congress, but you "ain't been nuttin' but bad."
Newt Gingrich has scored the coveted endorsement from the American Family Association. The Ticket reports the leader of the faith-based organization, Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, will campaign on behalf of the Republican in Iowa because "Newt Gingrich recognizes the threat to our country posed by judges and lawyers imposing values upon the country inconsistent with our religious heritage."
In order to maintain that endorsement, the best gift for Gingrich is a chastity belt. Be sure to send the key to Rev. Wildmon. Read more.
Sen. John McCain needs a Vladamir Putin action doll and a blood-pressure checker connected to his Twitter account to prevent him from posting reactions to other people until his numbers are lowered to a healthy level.
Speaker of the House John Boehner could use a pair of dice and a pirate-style eye patch. The dice for all the gambling that he and his fellow Republican members of Congress have been accused of doing lately. And the eye patch? Just because it would be fun. Read more.
Anthony Weiner and Chris Lee could unwrap two old-school rotary phones, as neither one of them should be allowed near camera phones again. Maybe the time-consuming act of dialing will help them remember to keep their shirts on and cameras off?
Rick Santorum should read "SEO for Dummies." Maybe he'll be able to fix that little Google problem?
-- Kary James
Michele Bachmann could use a set of health textbooks. With her stating that Terri Schiavo was healthy and saying that carbon dioxide was harmless, Bachmann obviously could use a bit of education in the field of basic health. Read more.
A mop, bucket, disinfectant, and toilet brush would make a perfect gift set for Newt Gingrich. He surprised voters with his proposal to address poverty by employing poor kids as school janitors. Such jobs would teach poverty-stricken kids work ethic and pride, Gingrich suggested. As a candidate who claims to be prepared to be our country's chief leader, surely he recognizes the best way to lead is by example. I'm sure there are plenty of schools that could use some extra help cleaning up over the holiday break. Read more.
For Ron Paul, a globe, so he can see that the U.S. is actually not alone in the world.
For Sarah Palin, a telescope, because that's the only way she's ever going to see Russia from her house.
For Herman Cain, a little black book, so he can keep all his dates -- I mean "business contacts" -- straight. Read more.
- Politics & Government
- Politics & Government/Elections
- Newt Gingrich
- Mitt Romney
- Rick Perry