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Monocle-Wearing Oil Baron’s Cigarette Holder Splinters In Clenched Teeth After Hearing Bernie Sanders’ Environmental Platform

GREENWICH, CT—Leaving him visibly seething as he sat in his tufted leather wingback chair in his study, monocle-wearing oil baron Frederick Porter Harriman’s ivory-inlaid cigarette holder reportedly splintered between his clenched teeth upon him hearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outline his environmental platform during Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Biggest Campaign Gaffes So Far

The road to the 2016 election has seen its fair share of blunders, miscalculations, and poorly worded statements, all captured by an eager news media that’s always on the lookout for political missteps. Here are some of the biggest campaign gaffes of this election cycle so far:

How The Iowa Caucuses Work

The votes cast in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night mark the official beginning of the 2016 election season, but the specifics of the state’s selection process can be confusing to voters who don’t live there. Here, The Onion answers the most common questions about how the Iowa caucuses work:

Iowan Comforts Sobbing Jeb Bush At Town Hall

DES MOINES, IA—Slowly approaching the distraught, trembling presidential candidate before embracing him in a gentle hug, 42-year-old single mother Holly Sullivan comforted a sobbing Jeb Bush during a town hall forum, sources confirmed Friday.

Dazed Marco Rubio Wakes Up In Koch Compound To Find Cold Metal Device Installed Behind Ear

‘Hello Marco, We Will Now Begin The Program,’ Says Soothing Voice

UNKNOWN LOCATION—The brightly lit, stark-white room gradually coming into focus as he regained consciousness, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly awoke in the Koch brothers’ secret compound Thursday and reached suddenly to his throbbing head to discover a cold metal device implanted behind his left ear.

Hillary Clinton Relaxing Before Debate With Few Hours Of Debate Practice

GOFFSTOWN, NH—Describing it as a much-needed escape from the hype and pressure surrounding the event, aides from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that the candidate has been taking it easy and kicking back ahead of Saturday’s Democratic debate with a few hours of intensive debate practice.

Terrified Jeb Bush Beginning To Fade From Visible Spectrum

LAS VEGAS—His voice slowing during his response to a question about immigration as he struggled to comprehend what was happening to him, a visibly terrified Jeb Bush reportedly began to vanish from the visible spectrum while on stage at Tuesday night’s Republican debate.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

The Pros And Cons Of Political Correctness

A key issue currently driving a wedge between political parties in the U.S. is the question of so-called political correctness, or the avoidance of language and actions that could be construed as exclusive, oppressive, or marginalizing of minority groups. Here are the pros and cons of political correctness in our national discourse:

Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

Frenzied Trump Supporters Admit They’d Be Just As Happy Tearing Him To Pieces

‘We’re Just Mad And Want To Destroy Something,’ Say Candidate’s Backers

WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.
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KLEMKE WINS!

November 4 will forever be remembered as the day Alan Klemke became fourth district alderman of Wichita, Kansas.
November 4 will forever be remembered as the day Alan Klemke became fourth district alderman of Wichita, Kansas.

WICHITA, KS—In a thrilling conclusion to one of the longest and most anticipated elections in U.S. history, charismatic Democrat Alan Klemke has defeated opponent Carl Ferguson to become the new alderperson for Wichita's 4th District.

Klemke delivered a rousing victory address in front of his now-famous campaign headquarters, located in a vacant storefront within the Westway Shopping Center. There Klemke thanked his staff for their hard work throughout a historic campaign that captured the hearts and minds of an entire district, including all neighborhoods south of Douglas Avenue and west of the Arkansas River.

"Thank you all," Klemke said, his momentous words signaling the beginning of a bold new era in Wichita City Council proceedings. "I promise to work hard on creating a more responsible municipal water policy and better parking regulations on the weekends. I am also committed to rezoning the old rail corridor on Baker Street, out past where the Denny's used to be, to allow for more commercial building and, hopefully, a new Denny's."

Added Klemke, "We did it!"

Members from every corner of the Wichita press turned out for Klemke's acceptance speech, providing another example of the veritable media frenzy that has surrounded this campaign. Portions of the address were broadcast late Tuesday evening on channels 3, 10, and 12, as well as on two local AM radio stations.

With 15,243 votes cast—the largest voter turnout in 4th District history—the American people made their voices heard as they elected Klemke over the incumbent Ferguson by a staggering margin of 3.5 percent. Klemke's win, some political analysts have said, is a shake-up of unparalleled proportions, marking the first time a sitting alderperson has† ever been defeated in his third term by a former Wichita public school superintendent.

"Surely this is what everyone will be talking about at work tomorrow," said political blogger and local sporting goods store owner Doug Heldinger, who endorsed Klemke in September, just weeks after he began his campaign. "It doesn't matter whether you're black, white, rich, poor, or from the part of Greater Wichita that used to be included in the 4th district but is now in District 2 under Alderperson Stephanie Glenn—everyone's talking Klemke."

Ferguson conceded the race to Klemke at approximately 11 p.m. Monday, after KSNW 3 anchor Ken Larson had already called the election for the Democrats on the 10 o'clock news. Speculation among media pundits as to whether Ferguson will rally supporters for a comeback in 2012 is already at a fever pitch, but for now, the day belongs to Klemke.

The story of Alan Klemke's ascent to alderpersonhood is as well known as it is inspiring. Rising from humble beginnings on the zoning reform board in 2004, Klemke was an underdog of City Council politics from the beginning. Despite gaining early support among proponents of the proposed Douglas Avenue Parking Facility downtown, Klemke's ability to appeal to mainstream 4th District voters was often in question, as he failed to connect with increasing demand for a streamlined recycling pickup schedule.

However, the real race for the coveted alderperson seat did not begin in earnest until two years ago, when former mayoral aide Janet Cosgrove, originally considered by most media pundits to be a shoe-in for the 4th District, drew strong support from voters who respected her stance on loitering outside of the Arby's.

But Cosgrove's controversial views on the wildly polarizing issue of a new all-weather municipal pool near Sedgwick County Park lost her support in the crucial swing neighborhoods of Northwood and Golfview, forcing her to drop out of the race and resume her position at the local food bank. In a shocking twist, Cosgrove later publicly endorsed Klemke at the July Fourth picnic in the Old Town district, calling his ideas for reforming the parks and recreation budget "exactly what this city needs."

In the months that followed, the race got even more heated. Excitement ramped up as both campaigns passed out more yard signs and honed their messages regarding what should be put inside the abandoned YMCA. The fierce contest for alderperson delivered controversy after controversy—the allegations of Presbyterianism, the now-infamous gazebo incident, and the game-changing endorsement by former library board member Edna Pound in the campaign's final, heart-stopping week—as the rest of the nation watched with bated breath.

But in the end, Klemke's triumph was clearly a result of his natural ability to inspire young Wichitanians.

"This was the first year I've been able to vote, and I wanted to make it count," Wichita State University student Jennifer Reid said. "I'm glad the woman at the polling station told me there was a back side to the ballot. I voted straight Democrat."

At last, the whole dramatic saga—the whisper campaigns about new property taxes on the Rolling Hills Country Club, the attack ads in The Wichita Eagle, the stirring speeches on issues as fundamental as the proposed remedies to traffic congestion on Kellogg Drive—have come to a final, thrilling, and, for many, joyful conclusion.

"Wichita has entered a new era," said Wichitanian Fred Bryerly, a reporter for the City Council Beat newsletter. "I'll always remember where I was when Alan Klemke stood on the steps of the Stanley Neighborhood City Hall and shook the hand of Carl Brewer, who is currently our mayor."

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