"If politicians are like rock stars, Rick Perry is Miley Cyrus."
So said the Concord Monitor, a New Hampshire newspaper, when trying to step back and figure out what the Texas governor's visit to the state means for 2016.
It wasn't because they are both forever associated with an unfortunate prime-time appearance -- either for words better left remembered or things better left un-twerked. It isn't even because their last names have the same number of letters. The newspaper instead says that both have made career choices "that feel like a calculated effort toward image rehabilitation – a bid to be taken more seriously." Miley Cyrus had a homeless man accept her award at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday instead of courting FCC complaints, and Perry is making the swing-state rounds, trying to show that there's more behind that nice new pair of glasses than an "oops."
This analogy is a bit bewildering, but it was probably inevitable that New Hampshire would be the state to first introduce Hannah Montana to the 2016 conversation. New Hampshire doesn't only lead the nation when it comes to presidential primaries; it also leads when it comes to FCC complaints about Cyrus's "artistry." Yep, New Hampshire residents sent the most. One resident from Goffstown, N.H., wrote, according to documents obtained by the Smoking Gun, "Miley Syres [sic] did a performance with teddy bears, sticking her butt in a man face ... this was rated X."
The fact that Rick Perry's potential image makeover was seen on the same level as Cyrus's is probably a high honor. The fact that no person in history has ever been as excited to get free maple syrup as Rick Perry was in 2011 might have something to do with it.
Even more surprising than the fact that the sentence, "If politicians are like rock stars, Rick Perry is Miley Cyrus" has been said and recorded for posterity is the fact that Perry is not the first 2016 hopeful who has been compared to Miley Cyrus. New Hampshire, you got beat.
If politicians are like rock stars, Ted Cruz is Miley Cyrus.
In September 2013, lefty comedian Bill Maher said on his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher." "He reminds me of Miley Cyrus -- Ted Cruz -- because he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself." He explained himself on CNN the following month: "His filibustering is the political version of twerking. He was twerking when he did that. Yeah."
If politicians are like rock stars, Chris Christie is Miley Cyrus.
In August 2013, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd began a piece, "As far as inappropriate and nasty career moves go, Miley Cyrus has Chris Christie beat. She did a raunchy twerk, while he was a rude twerp."
If politicians are like rock stars, Hilary Clinton is Miley Cyrus.
This one was literally true Oct. 5, when the pop star played the former secretary of state on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch.
Miley Cyrus and Hillary Clinton also shared texts in a "Late Night with Seth Myers" segment.
If politicians are like rock stars, Rand Paul is Miley Cyrus.
On Feb. 21, Fox News Latino contributor Rick Sanchez wrote a column titled, "Miley Cyrus Trumps Karl Rove Because Lewinsky Scandal Is Fair Game For GOP." In the post, Sanchez reaches the conclusion that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Cyrus are on the same page when it comes to discussing the Lewinsky scandal: "Politics and pop culture make for strange bedfellows. Miley Cyrus, hardly a conservative, and Rand Paul, a pure conservative with libertarian leanings, in principle agree that Mr. Clinton’s White House shenanigans are relevant. Here’s what I say: Forget Rand Paul, I put my money on Miley Cyrus. After all, what or who is more relevant than her these days?"
If politicians are like rock stars, Joe Biden is not Miley Cyrus.
On April 11, the Daily Mail published an article titled, "Rollin' in it: Miley Cyrus earned $76.5 million last year (more than Beyonce) ... while Vice President Joe Biden made $230,000."