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Last night, CNN aired a town hall with former Colorado governor, current Democratic presidential candidate, and sentient bowl of unflavored room temperature porridge John Hickenlooper, during which he was asked if he would nominate a female vice-president if he were the nominee, given that other male candidates have said they would do so.

It did not go well.

Rather than saying, "Yes, because it sure is ridiculous and embarrassing that all of the presidents and vice presidents have been men," Hickenlooper responded by going full "So when is MEN'S HISTORY MONTH, huh?" about things and asking why none of the women running for president are asked if they would be willing to put a man on the ticket.


Now sure. He likely meant this as a "joke." Perhaps it was even a reference to the fact that Hickenlooper is obviously here to run for vice president anyway, and was hoping that such a comment would nudge whichever woman is nominated to pick him. Now, I don't know Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand personally, but I am gonna guess that if it was meant that way, John Hickenlooper just found himself nudged right off their hypothetical VP shortlists (if he was ever there to begin with, which -- let's be real -- he is probably not). He'd be off of mine, anyway.

If it was a joke, it was a bad joke. It was a tired joke. It was a joke that could have easily been followed by "take my wife, please." If one is going to do "observational" humor, one has to actually observe things in the world. Hickenlooper could start by observing that all of the vice presidents have been men.

That being said, the real reason why female candidates are not being asked this is because we've all collectively decided that men are no longer allowed to be vice presidents. Or presidents. Or in any position of power whatsoever, because we're sick of looking at their dumb faces. That's what's going on here, John Hickenlooper. Time to get with the program and make us a sandwich.

Wait. I take that back. I have an aversion to mayo and there is no way Hickenlooper would not slather that shit on.

Also, during the town hall, Hickenlooper relayed the, uh, heartwarming tale of how he went to go see Deep Throat with his mom. He explained that he was visiting home for Christmas, and didn't want to leave his mother all alone after she'd just cooked him a big dinner, but that he'd promised his friend that he'd go see the movie with him that evening. He and his friend knew it was going to be "a little naughty" but didn't realize it was going to be "that bad."

I said, 'I promised Jed that we'd go to the movie theater and see this new movie, you want to come?' And it's an X-movie, and I was sure she wouldn't[sic] say no. I made a mistake," Hickenlooper said. "And she said, 'I'd love to go' because she didn't want to be left alone in the house again. So I took my mother to see 'Deep Throat.'"

He admitted his mother was "mortified" at the first scene, and so he told her they should leave, but she said no -- she had paid for a ticket.

"I said repeatedly, 'I think we should leave, I think we would should go.' And my mother was someone who rarely went to a movie. She thought almost every movie would get on TV. Obviously not this one," he said. "When she paid, she was going to stay. And at the end, she knew I was humiliated. And as we drove home and -- you know how the dashboard in the old cars had a kind of green light, and I asked her, I said, 'That was some experience.' "

"And she goes, 'I thought the lighting was very good in the movie.' I thought I saw a little grin in that green light," he added.

Huh. Now, I'm hardly repressed, and I have a very cool relationship with my very "Our Bodies, Our Selves" 1970s feminist mom who let me read Anaïs Nin and watch R and NC-17 rated movies so long as they weren't rated that way due to violence and I watched them with her, but I promise you that had this happened to me, I would have run out of the theatre screaming "I have made an error in judgment, this was a poor idea!"

Still, I relayed this story to said mother, pointing out that it was kind of cute, and she said "Robyn. ROBYN. Let me assure you. Everyone knew what Deep Throat was. You would have had to have been living in a hole in the ground or a cloistered convent to not know what Deep Throat was about. Did he just ... not have conversations with other people? Though I guess it's not that off-brand if he also didn't notice that all of the vice presidents have been men. The man is not an observer."

No, no he is not.

[CNN]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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