John Oliver on Primaries: An ‘Erratic Clusterf—‘

Comedian proposes solution to convoluted nominating process

Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:12am


Comedian John Oliver suggested serious reforms to the “electoral foreplay” of the presidential primary season Sunday night in a skit probing the “erratic clusterf—” that resulted in riotous displays in Nevada this month.   

“Any competition should have clear rules,” he said. “You don’t get to the end of a football game and say, OK, who found the most eggs?”  

Oliver did not challenge the results this year, which have given us “Donald Trump, America’s walking, talking brushfire,” and Democratic front-runner “Hillary Clinton, a woman who exhibits either too much or too little of every human quality depending on whom you ask.”  

Both are leading the popular votes, he pointed out.  


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Instead, his 15-minute monologue delved into the uproar over this year’s selection process, and the riots at the 1968  Democratic convention that led to electoral reforms.  

The skit questioned the convoluted rules , low voter turnout and arcane party systems that “don’t reflect the way most people think presidential selection works.”  


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Critics this year have included Trump, now the presumptive GOP nominee, and Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, both of whom have cried foul in states that have awarded them fewer delegates than they thought they deserved. Oliver gave both credit, sort of.  

“There is no clearer piece of evidence that our system is broken,” he said, “no more thoroughly dead canary in the coal mine, than when Donald Trump is actually making sense.”  

Contact Akin at and follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin

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