Instead of getting caught up into guessing who will be Mitt Romney's running mate, shouldn't you be figuring out this week's ScuttleButton puzzle?
Last week's offering was perhaps the toughest one in quite awhile. But it's even tougher when you don't know how to play.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
For years, a correct answer chosen at random would get his or her name posted in this column, an incredible honor in itself. Now the stakes are even higher. Thanks to the efforts of the folks at Talk of the Nation, that person also hears their name mentioned on the Wednesday show (by me) and receives a Political Junkie t-shirt in the bargain. Is this a great country or what?
You can't use the comments box at the bottom of the page for your answer. Send submission (plus your name and city/state — you won't win without that) to email@example.com.
And, by adding your name to the Political Junkie mailing list, you will be among the first on your block to receive notice about the column and the puzzle. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can make sure to get an automatic RSS feed whenever a new Junkie post goes up by clicking here.
By the way, I always announce the winner on Wednesday's Junkie segment on TOTN. But with a new puzzle up every Tuesday, you should get your answer in as soon as possible.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
JC Watts Congress — Watts, first elected from Oklahoma in 1994 and who served four terms, is one of the few African-American Republicans sent to Congress since Reconstruction.
D Huddleston U.S. Senate — I can't recall for sure, but I think I may have used this button from the former Kentucky Democratic senator in previous ScuttleButtons.
Free (picture of a panther) Bobby — Bobby Seale, one of the founders of the Black Panthers, was sent to prison for his role as a member of the Chicago Eight, a group of defendants accused of conspiracy during the 1968 Democratic convention.
Sheets 4 Quincy — James Sheets is a former mayor of Quincy, Mass.
Ken Rudin for President — Part of a series of buttons that were made by officers of the Tiger Bay Club, a non-partisan political civics group based out of Tallahassee, Fla., buttons that were distributed during a speech I gave there in October 2010.
So, when you combine Watts + D + Free + Quincy + Kenneth — my real name — you may just very well end up with ...
What's the Frequency Kenneth? — The 1994 R.E.M. song based on a reported 1986 event in which Dan Rather, then the CBS Evening News anchor, was allegedly attacked by assailants who kept repeating, "Kenneth, what's the frequency?"
And for those of you not familiar with the R.E.M. song, here it is, courtesy YouTube:
This week's winner, chosen completely at random, is ... Susan Serna of Anchorage, Alaska. Susan gets a TOTN Junkie t-shirt, once they are restocked.
(I'd like to share this note I received from Ray Betzner of Philadelphia, Pa. Upon seeing that "Ken Rudin for President" button, he wrote, "I'd vote for him, but he would probably establish Rudin-care, which would require everyone to laugh at his jokes or pay a tax. I mean, a penalty. Or maybe it is a tax. I'll get back to you.")
Don't forget to check out this week's Political Junkie column, which debunks the Drudge Report report that Condoleezza Rice is high on Mitt Romney's choice of VPs. Click here to read the column.