Either this has been one of the strangest elections in recent history, or else having the Internet around has simply made it possible to nationally ruminate over the strange goings-on in elections throughout the country. Here are ten of the weirdest moments during the 2010 midterm elections:
1. Demon Sheep Ad
Carly Fiorina, the Republican nominee to challenge U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer ran the now infamous “Demon Sheep Ad” during her Republican primary battle against Tom Campbell. It went viral for being so shockingly strange and even creepy:
2. Alvin Greene
The winner of South Carolina’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate turned out to have no campaign machinery, very little money (he won the U.S. Senate primary with only $10,000), and a bizarre personality. Commenters speculated as to whether or not he had mental defects and wondered at his electoral victory, some even suggesting that he was a Republican plant:
3. Aqua Buddha
In Kentucky’s heated U.S. Senate race, a story emerged this summer from an anonymous source who claimed that back in college, Rand Paul kidnapped her, forced her to smoke cannabis from a bong, and then took her to a creek where he forced her to worship “his god,” Aqua Buddha. Democratic opponent Jack Conway seized on the story weeks later to produce an ad that most commentators- including Democrats- have condemned as going too far.
4. Rand Paul supporter stomps protester
Just before a debate between Rand Paul and Jack Conway, Paul supporters tried to apprehend a MoveOn.org activist who had jumped on Rand’s vehicle earlier and shoved a sign into the open window. When she made a second attempt to rush the vehicle, supporters tackled her to the ground, and one infamously stomped on her shoulder. Many commentators thought Rand Paul’s campaign did not condemn the stomper strongly enough.
5. Kesha Rogers
A candidate for the U.S. House in Texas’ 22nd congressional district managed to win her Democratic primary on a platform of supporting the impeachment of Obama:
6. Basil Marceaux
In Tennessee, a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination became a minor celebrity after exhibiting even more bizarre behavior than South Carolina’s Alvin Greene and including in his campaign platform “that everyone pray to God and say ‘Amen,’” as well as asserting that everyone should be able to carry a gun without a permit, but that if you kill someone “you get murdered, or you go to jail.”
7. O’Donnell says “I’m not a witch”
Responding to videos that surfaced from the Bill Maher show, in which she says that she dabbled in witchcraft, Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell runs a political ad in which she looks straight into the camera and says “I’m not a witch.”
8. B.J. Lawson runs “Morgan Freeman” ad
In the final days of the campaign, U.S. House candidate B.J. Lawson ran a campaign ad narrated by Morgan Freeman- and then apologized to Morgan Freeman after he denied recording the ad, also issuing a press release stating that the campaign had been tricked by a California-based “political mercenary.” Very weird:
After leaving a voicemail asking for support, California’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jerry Brown apparently didn’t hang up the phone correctly, inadvertently allowing it to record what he and staffers thought was a private conversation during which one staffer called his Republican opponent Meg Whitman a whore.
10. The Perlmutter Slap
Incumbent Democrat Ed Perlmutter lightly slapped at his GOP opponent’s hand during a heated moment in a televised debate, leading to an awkward exchange in which Perlmutter quickly conceded “Sorry, sorry- you’re right.”