In the world of political analysis, there are few more urgent tasks than shuffling people in the news into the appropriate political bucket, the better to understand their motivations and likely future endorsements.
It is in that spirit that we reached out to prominent political consultants and politicians to ask them to offer their opinion on the week's biggest newsmaker: Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Claus. Our thanks to those who participated -- and, of course, if other prominent figures (President Obama, Pope Benedict) wish to weigh in, please email. And our thanks to internet hero @darth, who created our Reagan-and-Kennedy-in-Santa-hat icons.
Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker
Santa Claus is clearly a Republican. He actually delivers what he promises. He and the elves believe in hard work. He helps children for free, he doesn't put them deeper in debt. He unites all of us in a love of Christmas. He isn't a divider.
Paul Begala, Democratic media consultant
Santa is definitely a Democrat. Rather than cater to the wealthiest one percent he rewards people who work hard and play by the rules. And while he's not a participant in the first lady's anti-obesity campaign he's very concerned about climate change. After all, Rudolph can fly but he can't swim.
Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman
1. Imagine a Democrat wearing that much red.
2. If you like your gift, you can actually keep your gift.
3. He looks a lot like Rutherford B. Hayes.
4. Would Mrs. Obama approve of all the milk and cookies?
Jason Ralston, Democratic consultant
As someone greatly impacted by and deeply concerned about climate change -- and who has negative views on coal -- Santa is clearly a Democrat.
Billy Moore, Democratic lobbyist
My sister Kiki suggests he is a Democrat: "He cares about all the children, rich or poor. He cares about the elf's as workers and he believes there is good in the world to be celebrated not just evil to defend against. He believes in holding the naughty accountable. Ultimately he knows is role is important for the future."
I, however, recall the reporting of my fellow Longhorn Berke Breathed back in 1981 that demonstrated Santa's Republican roots when he rejected the demands of PETCO (Professional Elves Toy-Making and Craft Organization) for higher wages, a hot tub in the locker room, and "short broads." When the elves went on strike, President Reagan fired them all and replaced them with out-of-work air traffic controllers. The resulting riot forced Santa to rehire, but in humiliating new positions such as reindeer.
Thus, it is undeniable that Santa Claus is a Reagan Democrat.
Jim Margolis, Obama media consultant
Republican... out of shape, obsessed with red, employees required to work day and night, addicted to coal.
Bruce Mehlman, Republican lobbyist
He's a straight, white, older male running a rural, non-unionized, faith-based small business premised on accountability (naughty/nice list), meritocracy (Rudolph in front) and absence of government intervention. It don't get much more Republican than that!
Glen Bolger, Republican pollster
Of course Santa's a Republican. He DID build his business himself, and has stayed on the job because he knows estate taxes are double taxation. Santa is all of the above on energy too, relying on reindeer power, coal, and cookie power to get him through his own Election Day (at least he always wins!).
John Anzalone, Democratic pollster
He is a Democrat because he goes to everyone's house and his benchmark for "naughty" is very low. If he was a Republican he would profile to a point where only around 25% of Households would get a visit.
Alex Castellanos, Republican media consultant
He knows if you've been bad or good, which makes him an advocate of meritocracy and, most likely, a Republican. On the other hand, he only works one day a year, which could make him, not only a Democrat, but a federal employee.
Howard Wolfson, former deputy mayor of New York City
Can I say he is an independent? He insists on accountability and engages in surveillance like a Republican and dispenses largesse with no regard for budgets like a Democrat.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
Republican. This is a guy who is so beholden to the coal lobby that he's been known to force it on small children. On the other hand, the whole reindeer-powered sleigh thing qualifies him as a pro environmental Democrat. Anyway, I have to light my menorah now.
What's that you ask? How would The Fix categorize Santa Claus? Well, we'd say that he is a moderate who could bring both parties together to effect meaningful policy reforms.
Because he doesn't exist.