Happy New Year, everybody! Wow, not terrible to be past 2021, is it? But, politically speaking, there were a number of moments that were at least intriguing. Let’s see how many of them you remember:
1. When Big Bird announced he had gotten a COVID vaccination, Sen. Ted Cruz said the “Sesame Street” star was:
A. Engaging in “government propaganda.” B. Really showing the holiday spirit. C. “A good friend I met on one of my Mexican vacations.”
2. When President Joe Biden rolled out new vaccine mandates, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster made a special splash by vowing to fight Biden:
A. In court. B. “To the gates of hell.” C. In a well-drafted position paper.
3. Donald Trump tweeted that he was “working hard to get very popular and capable Former Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin to run for Governor.” One small problem is:
A. Sean spells his last name Duphee. B. He’s not all that popular. C. The former congressman has moved to New Jersey.
4. Mr. Trump likes to refer to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell as:
A. “Old Crow.” B. “My jowly pally.” C. “The man who taught me everything I know about the Senate.”
5. Pennsylvania Republican and Mr. Trump favorite Sean Parnell suspended his Senate campaign after:
A. His wife testified that he’d choked her, pinned her down, called her “a whore” and demanded she get an abortion. B. He failed to tuck in his shirt at a court appearance. C. He accidentally ignored Don Jr. at a cocktail party.
6. Mr. Trump’s favorite for the Senate race in Georgia, Herschel Walker, might have problems with:
A. Charges that he hands out souvenir footballs that deflate right away. B. Claims he threatened to shoot his ex-wife. C. Opponents who claim he has “dropped the ball.”
7. New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams made news when he promised:
A. To take his first three paychecks in Monopoly money. B. To get vaccinated five times, once in every borough, just to remind people. C. To take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin.
8. Mr. Adams also made news when he announced transition committees including:
A. Bill de Blasio as head of “things to avoid” group. B. More than 700 people. C. All Giuliani family members who have denounced Rudy.
9. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan isn’t happy about the government making his constituents get a coronavirus vaccine. In fact, Mr. Jordan said, he felt his state:
A. Should get rid of all vaccine mandates. B. Should ask people who got free shots to pay for their costs. C. Should change its motto from “With God, all things are possible” to “Land of the needle-free.”
10. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona was censured by the House for:
A. Making a movie in which he plays a Spiderman clone guarding our southern border. B. Tweeting a cartoon video showing him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. C. Hunting for geese off season.
11. A pre-Thanksgiving House speech by Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy set a record for:
A. Including 12 different recipes for Kevin’s Special Stuffing. B. Mentioning Ronald Reagan five times more than Donald Trump. C. Taking 8 1/2 hours.
12. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley announced he’s running for reelection at 88. He vowed that if he wins, he’ll:
A. Stop blocking gun safety legislation in the Senate. B. Keep fighting to clean up the cattle markets. C. Organize a new political movement for conservatives who are older than Joe Biden.
13. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe lost a bid to regain his job in a contest against businessman Glenn Youngkin. Like many, many candidates, Mr. McAuliffe spent a lot of time trying to raise campaign funds. In one letter, his finance director said they were behind in meeting their goals because:
A. “I meant to send this email earlier: but I forgot to press send.” B. “People don’t understand a guy this cool can be needy.” C. “We only take money from the nonrich.”
14. Sen. Marco Rubio warned that expanding federal aid to pre-K students might force Catholic schools to hire teachers who are:
A. “Less well qualified.” B. “Transsexual.” C. “Bad dressers.”
15. Everybody in Congress seemed to be worried about what the CBO would say about Mr. Biden’s social spending plan. CBO stands for:
A. Congressional Budget Office. B. Coal Barons’ Orgy. C. Crafty Bean-counting Operation.
How’d you do?
Well, if you were enjoying a nice meander down the good old days of this year, you get a ribbon. But in terms of answers, here goes: 1-A; 2-B; 3-C; 4-A; 5-A; 6-B; 7-C; 8-B; 9-A; 10-B; 11-C; 12-B; 13-A; 14-B; 15-A. If you scored less than 10, try focusing on this stuff a little more, no matter how it pains you. If you got 11 to 13, you win an award for Steely-Eyed Citizenry. If you made 14 or 15, it is time to think about new hobbies.
Gail Collins is a columnist for The New York Times, where this originally appeared.