The Post-Debate GOP Spin Room Is the Closest I'll Get to Hell 


After what felt like the amount of time it would take a three-legged turtle to complete a marathon, the second 2015 Republican debate ended. This was a long day for me and I am ready to leave Simi Valley, hopefully never to return. However, there is one more stop I need to make: the Spin Room.

The Spin Room is legitimately one of the most stressful places I’ve ever been in my entire life. It is a large room where candidates and their teams gather with the media for damage control interviews. Some poor interns are forced to hold up identification signs so journalists can find the people associated with each campaign.

The big dogs like MSNBC, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight (???) all have their own designated areas for candidates to stop by. Everyone else has to chase after the candidates like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippo on speed. The Spin Room is hot, (temperature-wise) crowded, and reeks of desperation and politicians soaking up the entirety of their self-worth in these precious moments.

I am tired and very overwhelmed by this madness, so I spend most of my time wandering around listening to conversations and interviews. The one good thing about the Spin Room is that the condensed environment makes GOP candidate bingo much easier.

I easily find Rick Santorum chatting with Chris Matthews.

There’s Scott Walker with what I feel is much too large a group of people listening to him.

Here is a blurry picture of Mike Huckabee, which matches his blurry understanding of how our currency works. (Your wife on the face of the $10 bill. Really dude?)

This shot of Huckabee is blurry because I am bumped by someone as I am taking it. I am being bumped by over 40 white men in suits pretty much the entire time I’m in the Spin Room and I receive NARY an “excuse me.”

While obviously not a candidate, I have to give a shoutout to this gentleman who is a credentialed member of the lamestream media

Right after I see overall guy, I pass a young man wearing a signed “Make America Great Again” hat. Who actually wears a signed hat?

There is a commotion across the room and I go to investigate because I am a journalist here to get to the root of the issues. Turns out it’s Donald Trump. Almost immediately after I get there, the group of media starts running off in another direction after learning that he’s coming in through a different entrance.

These thirsty reporters prevent me catching a glimpse of Trump, which is completely fine. This is the closest I ever hope to get to Donald Trump.

Clay Aiken is still running around looking very anxious, doing whatever it is he came here to do.

The birds eye view of the whole shebang properly sums of the utter madness of the scenario. This, by the way, is during a relatively calm moment.

As my GOP debate experience comes to a close, all I feel is relief. By the time I get home, this will have been a 12 hour day and I can feel my soul slowly leaving my body like the air hissing out of a tire.

I would like to end this experience with some wisdom or knowledge I gathered from it. Unfortunately, I got nothing. I spent most of the day laughing and staring wide-eyed at the utter ridiculousness of these candidates while everyone around me treated this spectacle like it wasn’t completely absurd.

I mean, they were advertising this debate like a Monday night football game! Donald Trump is seriously running for president! Mike Huckabee thinks abortion is worse than slavery! Jake Tapper didn’t correct any of the candidates as they rambled on about that totally fake Planned Parenthood video! The world is a farce, y’all.

When I actually stop and think about it, however, I realize that most people here seem unflappable simply because, unlike me, they’ve been dealing with this lunacy firsthand for years. Many of these candidates were already around for the 2012 presidential election—this is simply another chapter in the same incredibly concerning book.

Since I have no lessons to give, I will instead leave you with all the ridiculous things I overheard at the second 2015 GOP debate. Only 417 days until Election Day!

“I’m Hispanic but I’m not Mexican.”
“I was a fixer last year.”
“They’re for listening exclusively to hip hop.”
-Someone discussing Beats by Dre headphones
“I keep getting asked which college Republicans group I’m with.”
“Enjoying the zoo?”
“I was just talking to the governor about you.”
“Jus so you know, I’m having a steak tonight. If I have to actually kill a steer, I’m doing it.”
“Who are you and what do you do? You look familiar.”
“I could finally breathe when I read your last piece.”
Person A: “My mother has low level dementia.”
Person B: “Wait, does your mother actually have low level dementia?”
“I’m too full and drunk to workout.”
“A million dollars just today…”
“I saw someone Periscoping on the first floor.”
“The open bar is just for guests.”
-A soul-crushing bartender ruining my life
“There’s just so much hot air.”

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