We agree that midsummer is an unusual time for a list of predictions. However, upon learning that the first GOP presidential debate is a mere three weeks away, Nostril Bill fell into a trance-like state, not unlike what happens to him any time his wife turns on one of those Hallmark movies. When he came out of it some two hours later—just in time for dinner, cryptically—he reported having had one vision after another, fleeting images of these familiar (and some not-so-familiar) faces struggling through the Sisyphean task of trying to balance conservative dogma with acceptable human behavior. He feels that whatever it was he saw must be shared with the public, lest they enter the coming season unprepared.
Incidentally, while the debate sponsors insist on limiting the number of participants to the top 10 contenders, Nostril Bill's revelation must not omit any of the declared candidates, no matter their lowly polling status. Unlike Fox News, he doesn't feel it's his place to decide for the American people who's worth paying attention to.
• In the days leading to the debate, Jeb Bush tries different clothing combinations on focus groups, hoping to find the right ensemble that will influence viewers into thinking of him as "the adult on the stage." In a decision that will be discussed for decades, he will go with a plaid bow-tie, locking up the Tucker Carlson/George Will vote... if no one else.
• Minutes before the debate begins, Carly Fiorina is backstage, getting some final coaching from a member of her staff, when Donald Trump lurches up and demands, "Listen sweetheart, fetch me a cup of coffee, chop chop! Cream, three sugars, in a real mug. No cheap styrofoam, savvy?"
• During the barrage of opening statements, somehow or other, George Pataki is passed by. He will protest his omission at the first opportunity to speak and is promised a three-minute slot as soon as the closing statements have been made. That will be the last thing the television audience sees—poor George delivering his opening statement as the crowd files out.
• The in-hall audience repeatedly violates the request of debate moderators to hold their applause every time Chris Christie tells another of the candidates to "Sit down and shut up!"
• Bobby Jindal sits down and shuts up.
• Determined not to have the same trouble with dry mouth that plagued him during his rebuttal to the 2013 State of the Union address, Marco Rubio will arrange for a 32-ounce Big Gulp filled with ice water and a straw to be positioned on the podium before him. Unfortunately, the only straw his staffer will find is a curly, pink novelty straw like little kids play with when their moms gives them fruit juice. Even worse, the same staffer will have overloaded the container with ice and Rubio will go through all the liquid water in the first few minutes of the debate, leaving nothing but slowly melting cubes. Throughout the remainder of the event, the moderators and other debaters will be continuously distracted by that raspy gurgle sound of small amounts of water being sucked through a straw as Rubio desperately tries to keep his mouth hydrated.
• In a theatrical maneuver to take viewers back to what he considers his finest hour—the effort to shut down the United States government—Ted Cruz will once again perform the Winston Churchill "I will never surrender" speech, this time sounding even more like his testicles are being gnawed on by a weasel.
• Whatever points Scott Walker will score during the debate will be entirely overshadowed by the impression that his eyes are crossed.
• When asked his views on what should be done with the Confederate "Stars and Bars" flag, Rand Paul will reaffirm his previous statement that it should be relegated to a museum—"Unless," he adds,"it was also shown to be a symbol of the free market's sacred right to refuse service to the descendants of slaves."
• Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson uses the debate as an opportunity to announce that he identifies 110 percent as Caucasian, and that it is only because of the brave example of "transracial" activist Rachel Dolezal that he has decided to come out in such a public way. "A person should be judged by the color of his heart, not by the color of his skin," Carson explains. "And believe me, my heart is whiter than anyone's up here."
• Mike Huckabee will ramp the pious to new levels with a lapel pin depicting Jesus on a combination cross/flag pole with Old Glory waving proudly over the Son of God's anguished head.
• In a move to capture the conservative Catholic demographic, Rick Santorum suggests that Pope Francis should be impeached.
• Rick Perry thanks the organizers for providing air conditioning in the hall, saying, "Look, ya'll, this time I'm not sweating like a pig," to which Chris Christie—who is sweating like a pig—replies, "Sit down and shut up!"
• When it's over, as Pataki is trying to make his opening statement and the wives of the candidates gather around their mates, John McCain will join Lindsey Graham on stage, swaying arm-in-arm to the strains of "We Are Fam-i-ly." The next day, Sister Sledge will sue the Republican Central Committee to stop them from ever using the song again.