The Washington Post

The 6th Annual Reliable Source Thanksgiving Talking Points

Time for the annual family dinner, where you are the behind-the-scenes powerbroker, the resident expert on All Things Beltway — or so your mom told her cousins. What if you’re just a deputy to an assistant to an undersecretary, i.e. intern? Our sixth annual Thanksgiving Talking Points are just smarty-pants enough to wow the hometown crowd. Okay, maybe they’re not technically true — but that never stops presidential candidates.

The Supercommittee Fail

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

• “The members were totally unincentivized to reach any agreement that would compromise their re-election fundraising strategies, especially with the new super-PAC money in the mix.”

• “Heh. Let’s just say Grover Norquist has some very interesting pictures in a locked safe.”

2012 Presidential Race

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

• “Sure he’s in trouble, but historically, the incumbent will win by 4 points if the unemployment rate stays under 10 percent, the GDP doesn’t drop more than 0.1 percentage point and consumer confidence — we call it the Walmart Index — stays above 50.”

• “I’m hearing Hillary replaces Biden next year with the lock for the 2016 ticket — or does ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ They gotta do something with her hair, though.”

White House

(Ron Edmonds/AP)

• “Trust me, the only numbers Obama worries about is his golf score. The man can’t putt to save his life.”

• “‘Let’s move’? To the pantry! Michelle contols the East Wing’s secret stash of Funyuns.”

“Occupy” protests

(Karen Bleier/AFP)

• “It’s not college kids — my buddy at the DNC says right-wing activists infiltrated to make liberals look bad.”

• “It’s not college kids — my guy at MTV says it’s shooting for ‘Real World: McPherson Square.’”

European Economic Crisis

(Milos Bicanski/GettyImages)

• “What you are all overlooking is the critical role played by fluctuations of the Turkish lira!”

• “I really can’t talk about it — but Sarkozy has been impossible to deal with since the baby. No sleep, no sex!”

Bonus Sidebar!

When someone hits you with an embarrassing personal question, just answer like a candidate! . . .

(Mark Wilson/GettyImages)

Q: “How come you’re not married yet?”

A: (in the manner of Herman Cain ) “When the time is right, I plan to sit down with my advisers and examine the issues, then make a decision based on their recommendations. I’m a leader, not a lover.”

Q: “So, why exactly did you flunk out of college?”

A: (in the manner of Rick Perry ) “One, our education system in this country is failing because of Obama’s flawed policies; two, the funding that should have gone to state schools went to bloated social programs, and three. . . uh. . . oops. Too much beer pong!”

Q: “So, I hear you’re back in debt.”

A: (in the manner of Newt Gingrich ) “My wife has a lot of friends with birthdays.”

What we talked about at Thanksgivings past. . .

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2010, 11/24/10 (Michael Steele, media suspensions, royal wedding, Sarah Palin)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2008, 11/27/08 (Financial crisis, new first family, Orszag’s hair)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2007, 11/21/07 (Larry Craig, Bono, Jenna’s wedding)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2006, 11/19/06 (Nancy Pelosi, Jim Webb, Dan Snyder and Tom Cruise)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2005, 11/20/05 (Scooter Libby, Harriet Miers, Tai Shan)



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