The Strange Year in Politics: A Quiz

1. When Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his gubernatorial candidacy on "The Tonight Show," what did he say was the only decision in his life that was more difficult?

a) Deciding to come clean about his use of steroids in the 1970s
b) Deciding to get a bikini wax in 1978
c) Deciding to stop having group sex in 1980s
d) Deciding to support the campaign of Austrian president and former Nazi Kurt Waldheim in 1986
e) Deciding to risk his life to free the people of Mars in 2084
2. Match the quotation with the person who said it:
A. "I'd win in a landslide if weird people voted."
B. "Unlike Gray Davis, I am not paralyzed from the neck up."
C. "I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman."
D. "I'm the master of low expectations."
E. "Any time you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you're not long for the White House."

1) George W. Bush
2) Jerry Springer
3) Arnold Schwarzenegger
4) Michael Moore
5) Larry Flynt
3. President Bush inspired a toy manufacturer to create what product?
a) A special edition of Monopoly featuring Bush's top corporate contributors
b) A special edition of Scrabble featuring Bush's special words
c) An "Elite Force Aviator" doll to commemorate Bush's landing on the aircraft carrier Lincoln
d) A "nation-building" LEGO starter kit to commemorate Bush's preemptive war doctrine
4. At a campaign stop, Howard Dean described himself as a "metrosexual." According to Dean, what is that?
a) A straight guy who has had a "Queer Eye" makeover
b) A guy with a confederate flag in his pickup truck
c) A gay person who likes to ride the subway
d) He admitted he didn't know what the term means
5. During the California recall campaign, Gray Davis said his vision was for California to become a state that would be home to:
a) "People from every planet on the Earth"
b) "The Gray Davis Presidential Library"
c) "A great Austrian-born dictator"
d) "Fewer people who hate me"
6. Which statement about the following Democratic presidential candidates is false?
a) Dennis Kucinich agreed to go on a date with a woman who won an Internet contest titled "Who Wants to Be a First Lady?"
b) While in his hometown of St. Louis, Dick Gephardt was asked to settle a bet between two women wondering whether he was a CNN weatherman or Dan Quayle
c) Asked during a debate to address voter concerns that he is aloof, John Kerry said, "Probably I ought to disappear and contemplate that by myself"
d) Speaking in New Hampshire, Wesley Clark said he hadn't ruled out the possibility of interstellar space travel
e) After failing to win Al Gore's endorsement, Joe Lieberman suffered another embarrassment when his own rabbi endorsed Howard Dean
7. Part of a document presented by British Prime Minister Tony Blair as proof of an imminent threat posed by Iraq, and cited by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his presentation to the United Nations, turns out to have been plagiarized from what source?
a) Fox News Channel
b) A graduate student's thesis
c) Historian Stephen Ambrose
d) "Dr. Strangelove"
8. What celebrity threatened to sue a Los Angeles radio station after an impersonator posing as him called French President Jacques Chirac and engaged him in a five-minute conversation about the war in Iraq?
a) Comedian Jerry Lewis
b) Comedian Al Franken
c) Actor Sean Penn
d) Actor Martin Sheen
9. True or false: When Republican Rep. Scott McInnis told Democrat Rep. Pete Stark to "shut up" at a congressional committee meeting amid a legislative dispute, Stark replied: "You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on, come over here and make me, I dare you...You little fruitcake. You little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake."

10. When Texas Democrats fled to New Mexico to stop a Republican redistricting plan, Republicans sent them a "care package" containing which of the following items?
a) Diapers
b) Baby rattles
c) Child leashes
d) Pacifiers
e) All of the above
11. Four of these headlines appeared in the satirical weekly "The Onion." Which one appeared in a U.S. newspaper?
a) Bush Re-Election Campaign Creates Thousands of New Jobs
b) Bush Diagnosed With Attention-To-Deficit Disorder
c) Bush Bravely Leads 3rd Infantry Into Battle
d) Latest Leak: Bush Orders An End to Leaks
e) Bush Asks Congress For $30 Billion to Help Fight War on Criticism
12. Walden O'Dell, the chief executive of Diebold Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of computerized voting machines, raised eyebrows when he said he was committed to what?
a) Rigging voting machines to ensure Democratic victories in 2004
b) Helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to President Bush in 2004
c) Utilizing an electronic version of the butterfly ballot to confuse Florida voters again
d) Installing software enabling voting machines to make helpful suggestions
13. Porn star/California recall candidate Mary Carey offered to go on a date with anyone willing to do what?
a) Cruz her Bustamante
b) Throw an egg at Arnold Schwarzenegger
c) Dig up embarrassing details about Gary Coleman's past
d) Donate $5,000 to her campaign
14. In hopes of aiding the war on terror, who proposed a plan (later abandoned) to create a futures market that would have allowed investors to bet on the probability of terrorist attacks, assassination attempts and other Middle East events?
a) Martha Stewart
b) William Bennett
c) The Pentagon
d) Harrah's Casino
15. Match the statement about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction with the Bush administration official who said it:
A. "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
B. "We found the weapons of mass destruction."
C. "I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."
D. "U.S. officials never expected that we were going to open garages and find weapons of mass destruction."
E. "The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason."

1) George W. Bush
2) Donald Rumsfeld
3) Condoleezza Rice
4) Ari Fleischer
5) Paul Wolfowitz
Answers: 1. b, 2. A-2, B-5, C-3, D-1, E-4, 3. c, 4. d, 5. a, 6. e, 7. b, 8. a, 9. True, 10. e, 11. d, 12. b, 13. d, 14. c, 15. A-2, B-1, C-4, D-3, E-5

Daniel Kurtzman is a San Francisco writer and former Washington political correspondent. He runs's political humor website.

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