Dean Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah

Which Republican Presidential Candidate would Win "The Hunger Games?"

04 April 2012 Published in Blog

I know there are clearly more pressing issues in the country and the world than this question, but after seeing "The Hunger Games" last night, I could not help but wonder: If the four remaining Republican Presidential candidates were contestants in "The Hunger Games," who would win?

From an electoral point of view, it appears that Mitt Romney will soon lock up the GOP nomination. As of the writing of the article, Mitt Romney is leading the Republican field with 568 delegates and will likely add nearly 100 more delegates with expected wins Tuesday in primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington, DC. Rick Santorum is stuck at 273 delegates, Newt is way behind at 135 delegates and Ron Paul has only 50 more delegates than me and I'm not even running for the nomination.

But when you put these four candidates on the field of battle in "The Hunger Games," the results might be different.

For those unaware of the concept of "The Hunger Games," the contestants in this "game" are deposited into a small forest for the ultimate reality show. There is only one winner- the one who is still breathing. And it's all televised so that the home audience can cheer and jeer the person they love or hate-which is not unlike the Republican presidential debates.

So lets look at the contestants. First up, Ron Paul: He is a doctor and did serve in the US Military which is an asset. But at 76 years old, I don't think he would last long in the rugged conditions or in hand to hand combat. Sorry to all the Paul people out there, but in "The Hunger Games," there is no room for sympathy. So Paul is out.

Next up, Newt Gingrich. Arguably the smartest of the four contestants. But he is often arrogant -which anyone who has seen the movie can tell you-could be your tragic flaw.

Plus Newt loves to talk and talk and talk. In the woods of "The Hunger Games," you often must be silent to save your life. Talking is the equivalent of lighting a fire at night, it will likely lead to your demise. So let's happily say goodbye to Newt.

To me, the real battle is between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney –with his wealth – would be able to hire the best people to train him, just like those from District 1 did in "The Hunger Games."   Romney would be thoroughly schooled in the art of survival and combat.

Plus with his wealthy NASCAR team owning friends, he would have no problems finding sponsors. The sky would be filled with little balloons of gifts for Mitt.

And even though Romney is twelve years older than Santorum-Romney is 65 to Santorum's 53 – he is still in good shape. In fact, he may be in better shape than Santorum as evidenced by the shirtless photo of Santorum taken a few weeks ago in Puerto Rico.

But despite the fact that I truly hate many of his political views, I'm going to have to pick Rick Santorum. The biggest reason is that I see a parallel with him and "The Hunger Games" Katniss Everdeen: Both their father's were coal miners. That blue-collar upbringing for many fuels their desire to succeed and prove themselves. It did for Katniss and I think it would for Santorum as well.

However, just as in "The Hunger Games," if a rule change were announced to allow a couple in love to win – there is a chance that Mitt Romney would propose to Ron Paul. Romney has been known to change his positions to win in the past. Of course, it wouldn't be a true marriage – just one of convenience so that he could defeat Santorum. Sometimes fiction can eerily mirror reality.

Overall, I think that our current primary system is a slightly better way to choose our candidates. But if we did pick our elected officials using "The Hunger Games" method, it would be quicker and a lot more fun for the rest of us to watch!


20 March 2012 Published in About

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About The Dean's Report

20 March 2012 Published in About

The Dean's Report is a website dedicated to giving you an honest-and sometimes comedic-view of the issues of the day-from politics to pop culture. 

The Dean's Report was created by Dean Obeidallah - a former lawyer turned political comedian, writer and commentator. Dean is a columnist for The Daily Beast and has written articles for and The Huffington Post.  He appears frequently on cable news shows and co-directed the comedy documentary "The Muslims are Coming!" 


The Victims Of The Shooting In Afghanistan Are Not Just Statistics

19 March 2012 Published in Blog

We all know the name of Sergeant Robert Bales--the US soldier accused of killing sixteen civilians in Afghanistan. We know he's 38 years old and married with two children. We've heard him described as "happy-go-lucky," and as a former high school football player who volunteered his time with special needs children.

We know he enlisted shortly after 9/11 and was injured twice in his earlier tours of duty in Iraq, with one injury resulting in the loss of part of his foot. Oddly, we don't know his religion but we can safely assume that he isn't Muslim because if he were, that would be the headline.

We have even heard testimonials about Bales from numerous fellow soldiers and childhood friends, like Marc Edwards, a former NFL player who once played on the New England Patriots, that this attack is out character for the Bales they know.

The media has painted us a detailed portrait of Robert Bales. But do any of us know the name of even one of the sixteen people he has been accused of killing?

You may have heard that nine of the sixteen victims were children and three were women. You may have read descriptions of them as "villagers" and "civilians." But again, do you know the name of even one victim in this horrific massacre?

Probably not. Not that you should because our media has ignored that part of the story.

The US media has treated the sixteen victims as statistics-not human beings. If they were human, we would at least know their names and ages. We might even have heard from their classmates or family members about the kind of people they were- maybe they, too, were "happy-go-lucky"" like Sergeant Bales.

But our media has not told us anything about them. Is it because the victims are Afghans? Maybe it's because they are Muslim? Is it because they aren't American? Or is it simply a business decision by the media because they don't think we care?

In the ten plus years of the war in Afghanistan, our media has essentially only presented us images of the Afghan people when they are protesting, denouncing the US after some of their people have been accidentally killed by US or NATO troops, or when our politicians are debating their fate. When is the last time you observed a story about the human side of the Afghan people?

Some will undoubtedly ask: Why should we care about them? They will make blanket statements that the Afghans, and Muslims in general, don't care about our culture or lives. They will then cite a few isolated incidents from over the past ten years to support their conclusion.

I don't subscribe to the view that isolated incidents sum up an entire people, but even if it did, shouldn't we be better? Shouldn't we set a positive example for others to emulate?

There is no dispute that these sixteen people were killed by one (or more) US soldiers.  The families of these people - and the people of Afghanistan -are entitled to a full investigation into what lead to this tragic loss of life.  The victims also deserve to be treated as more than simply statistics.

We need to hear about the people killed in this massacre such as the Wazir family who lost eleven relatives and the Jan family who lost four. We need to hear about the hopes and dreams that the parents held for the eleven murdered children. We need to know if the children played soccer or were good students in school. We need to know if the people killed were someone's brother or sister or daughter or son. Maybe even hear from their neighbors who might tell us that those killed were "good people" who were simply trying to survive in a challenging time.

Lets hear something - anything - about these people who committed no sin other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time when their lives were so violently taken. Our media needs to tell us about these sixteen people - they deserve it as fellow human beings who were killed by one of our own.