Nirvana Allusion Attracts Further Ridicule for Jon Huntsman

Jon Huntsman could have cracked a better joke in the Tea Party debate.

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Former Gov. Jon Huntsman's bungled allusion, in Monday's GOP debate, to Kurt Cobain and the Nirvana song "All Apologies" drew the satirical attention of Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.

"I'll campaign for @JonHuntsman and if elected, he'll nominate me for Dept. Of Bass Tossers. I will go down in flames in Senate confirmation," Novoselic tweeted.

I appreciate that Huntsman has eclectic interests (bring on the Captain Beefheart!), but this is no way for a long shot to avoid further ridicule.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the GOP hopefuls.]

For starters, the reference was forced to the point of futility: No one in the audience got it (or could have been expected to get it), and the difference between the Nirvana track and the title of Mitt Romney's book (No Apology) is rather stark.

If you're going to traffic in relative obscurity, at least get it right. Huntsman could have opted for rapper Eminem's "No Apologies," for instance. Or—heaven forfend—Bon Jovi. Or—stretching a bit, but still in safe thematic territory—Morrissey's "I'm Not Sorry."

Given his surroundings, Huntsman's best choice would probably have been to go with Frank Sinatra's "My Way" (after all, isn't it Romney's contention, given all the charges of inauthenticity and flip-flopping, that "the record shows, I took the blows"?)

[Read Galupo: Rick Perry Flip Flops Worse Than Mitt Romney]

Huntsman should feel fortunate in at least one regard: He didn't raise the ire of Rep. Michele Bachmann or former Sen. Rick Santorum for sullying the debate with the specter of a nihilistic-seeming, heroin-addicted suicide.

You'll recall, in 2008, that's the trick Alan Keyes pulled on John McCain when the latter brought up Nine Inch Nails in passing.

Good times!

  • Read Ken Walsh's Washington: GOP Hopefuls Turn from Bashing Obama to Bashing Each Other
  • See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.
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