Do Not Question the GOP's Commitment to Its Squirrel Mascot

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The Republican National Committee has finally found a metaphor to explain the party's perceived metamorphosis going into 2016: it is a man, in a squirrel suit. In a 2-minute YouTube video released on Tuesday — at least the second to feature the giant, Hillary Clinton-hating squirrel — the RNC develops an entire emotional storyline for the mascot. That storyline, beginning at the election of Barack Obama, tracks closely with the GOP's own perception that the American people will resurrect the conservative party in 2016, after two disappointing presidential elections.

In a statement, GOP chair  Reince Priebus described the 2-minute long film as an "in depth account" of the squirrel mascot's "past work, his hiatus from politics, and his return." As it turns out, the squirrel was really depressed as after Barack Obama won in 2008. That's because "his life's work was stopping the Obama campaign," as one RNC staffer said of the made-up conservative animal. The speaker adds, "kind of like when Hillary was struggling financially." After 2008, the squirrel disappeared for years. But then: "a few weeks ago, he just showed back up in the office." A miracle! Why? "This Hillary tour has him really worked up." And now, just like the GOP says of itself, the squirrel has "new energy." Also, he's going to "go after Hillary for Benghazi." Just like the House! 

In case you weren't aware, the squirrel, named in the tongue-in-cheek ad as "Theodore Birch Dogwood, " or TBD, has been stalking Hillary's book tour for the past few weeks wearing a t-shirt proclaiming "Another Clinton in the White House is Nuts." As Mother Jones points out, the squirrel was indeed used by the GOP in 2008 to protest against ACORN (get it?): 

And now he is back, possibly to stay on the trail for as long as Hillary Clinton might run for president. Which means we would be stuck with this squirrel guy for awhile: there are 861 days until the 2016 presidential elections. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.