Billy Davis commentary

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008

The state of Mississippi will get to participate in the Presidential Primary next Tuesday, following the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Louisiana, Nebraska, Maine,  Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont.

Instead of Super Tuesday, every four years Mississippi participates in Too-Late Tuesday. The choices for President have dwindled down from something like 27 to one Republican, Sen. John McCain, and two Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

But I’m not bitter or anything. In fact, to celebrate Too-Late Tuesday, for your political-loving pleasure is a 10-question quiz to test your political knowledge. Use the box below to total your points and then use the chart to gauge your political acumen.  

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Here we go:

Question No. 1
A group of five U.S. senators – four Democrats and one Republican – were dubbed the “Keating Five” during a federal investigation of a failed savings and loan. Only one of them – one of two senators who weren’t bloodied by an ethics investigation – is still serving in the U.S. senate. Who is the senator?
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain

The correct answer is (C). Give yourself six (6) points for a correct answer – and for remembering an investigation almost 20 years old.

Question No. 2
A “gay” debate last August featured three presidential candidates discussing same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS, hate crimes and job discrimination issues in front of an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered) audience. Which national party was represented at the debate?
A. Democratic Party
B. Republican Party.

The correct answer is (A). The Republican candidates decided to skip. The debate in Los Angeles featured Clinton, Obama and John Edwards. Give yourself two (2) points – was there really a choice?

Question No. 3
A Chicago businessman is currently on trial for political corruption. One of the three candidates has had close ties to the businessman and has told reporters, “There’s no dispute that he raised money for us and there’s no dispute that we’ve tried to get rid of it.” Which candidate said that?
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain

The answer is (B). Tony Rezko is the businessman on trial. Obama’s campaign has donated to charity $150,000 in campaign contributions that are tied to Rezko.  If you picked Obama, give yourself six (6) points for following the news.

Question No. 4
One of the three presidential candidates worked with U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2005 to pass an immigration reform bill that was criticized by conservative Republicans as amnesty legislation. This same candidate was quoted telling an audience that he believes a border fence is “ineffective” but went on to tell them “I’ll build the godda– fence if they want it.”
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain

The answer is (C), John McCain, who has a reputation for having a salty tongue from three generations of U.S. Navy men. He obviously hates border fences, too. Give yourself four (4) points for a right answer.

Question No. 5
Match the presidential candidate – Clinton, Obama and McCain – with their own autobiography. A couple of extra titles have been thrown in for good measure.
A.Audacity of Hope
B. Pirate Looks at Fifty
C. Faith of my Fathers
D. Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis
E. Living History

The correct candidate and book is Clinton (E), Obama (A), and McCain (C). Jimmy Carter wrote Endangered Values. A Pirate Looks at Fifty was written by Jimmy Buffett.

Give yourself two (2) points for matching the right candidate with the right autobiography. Then give yourself six (6) points if you knew Buffett wrote A Pirate Looks at Fifty.

Question No. 6
Which presidential candidate has yet to release income tax return records?
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain

The answer is (A) and (C). Only Obama has released his tax returns, which is pretty standard for presidential candidates, and is giving Clinton grief for refusing to release her financial records. Give yourself four (4) points for knowing that piece of current trivia.

Question No. 7
In January 2005 Barack Obama took his oath of office for the U.S. Senate after placing his hand on the Koran. True or false?

The answer is…false. A U.S. Congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison, used a Koran during his swearing-in ceremony. Obama is not a Muslim and has proclaimed himself to be a Christian. He is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Give yourself six (6) points for not being fooled by an urban legend. Deduct six (6) points if you had heard of that urban legend but never took the time to learn for yourself.

Question No. 8
The Iraq War is a major political issue to voters. Before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, who said the following:  “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.”
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Bill Clinton
C. Vice President Dick Cheney
D. John McCain
E. President George Bush

The answer is (B), Bill Clinton. The former president spoke those words in 1998. Give yourself six (6) points for picking the right choice – and for understanding the implication of a warning spoken a decade ago, when George Bush was still in Texas.

Question No. 9
Which presidential candidate’s Web site is devoid of views on abortion?
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain
D. All of the above.

The answer is (B), Obama. Although he has spoke on the controversial issue, a search of his Web site shows no mention of his views or his voting record.

McCain, who boasts a pro-life record, calls Roe vs. Wade “a flawed decision that over must be overturned” under the heading “Human Dignity.” Clinton rails against “relentless and insidious efforts” by “far-right” Republicans to overturn Roe vs. Wade under the heading “A Champion for Women.”

Give yourself eight (8) points if you knew the answer. You must have been digging for that one.

Question No. 10
Which candidate was denounced for stifling free speech by co-authoring “campaign finance reform” legislation?
A. Hillary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John McCain

The answer is (C), John McCain. McCain will forever be known for his work on McCain-Feingold, which became law in 2003. The controversial law forbids so-called issue ads on TV 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election. The law banned effectively groups such as the National Rifle Association and the NAACP from airing ads before elections, hence the accusations of stifling free speech.

Give yourself six (6) points for knowing about McCain-Feingold.

That’s the test. Now total your score and rate your political trivia savvy. Then log in your comment and tell us how you did.