In January and February 2016, I wrote limericks about nine Republican presidential candidates. It wasn’t hard to find absurdity—or villainy—among the subjects. I sent the original versions to my limerick pen pal, Eric, who was born in Arkansas and with whom I attended college in Pennsylvania. I recited the poems at two open mic events in Queens, New York: at the Queens Public Library in Forest Hills in July 2017 and at a Purim party at Q.E.D. in Astoria in March 2019. These edited versions come from my unpublished zine from 2021, Documenting the Trump Era. With There Once Was a Limerick Anthology coming out in August, I wanted to share them online!
Mike Huckabee There once was a man from Arkansas He’s not the best candidate I saw He ruled your home state He caucused not great Good-bye, Mike Huckabee waved his paw Rand Paul There once was a man from Kentucky His poll numbers were really sucky His name was Rand Paul Oh, how he did fall! With voters he could not get lucky Rick Santorum There once was a man from Keystone State Who won Iowa once but too late Now bye-bye he’ll go He endorsed Marco Winning was not our senator’s fate Carly Fiorina There once was a woman from HP She ran in the race of GOP For the next debate She has turned irate Since the lineup won’t include Carly Chris Christie There once was a gov’nor from N.J. His team arranged for some bridge delay He’s not very nice And he’s named Chris twice He’ll prob’ly drop out after Tuesday Ted Cruz There once was a man from Calgary He’s a senator for GOP His views are right-wing So awful they sting Will he win Iowa primary? Jeb Bush There once was a man from Dynasty Bush Whose political dreams turned to mush He couldn’t beat Trump Got knocked on his rump He won’t be getting up off his tush Donald Trump There once was a man from NYC It looks like he’ll be the nominee He spewed lots of hate It made me irate Let him not win the presidency Ben Carson There once was a neurosurgeon No one calls him by his first name, Ben He hasn’t much clout We know he’ll drop out The question is not “if”—it is “When?”