This week, Scott Walker suspended his campaign for president. During the announcement, one lone person starts clapping as soon as Walker says, “I will suspend my campaign immediately.” They quickly realize it wasn’t the right thing to do; Walker clearly notices and moves on.
Below, a guest column from The Clapper.
Hey everybody, my name is Lee Hurd, but all of my coworkers just call me The Clapper. I’m the guy who started clapping when Scott Walker announced he was dropping out of the presidential race. I know what you’re thinking: “What a big old dum-dum! Who claps when someone’s delivering bad news?!” Well let me tell you: It’s not as easy to figure out when to clap at political announcements as you might think.
I am, or was, employed by the Walker campaign as the payroll coordinator. I’m an accountant. I’m very good with numbers. If situations where you were supposed to clap or not clap were numbers, I’d be great at knowing when to clap.
Anyways, Scott was very inclusive of his employees on the campaign, so I went to a lot of the events. And I had a lot of trouble figuring out when to clap and not to clap. For example, when Scott announced his campaign for president I was already hired as campaign payroll coordinator. I already knew he was running. I wasn’t surprised when he said it in his speech that we were all at, so I didn’t clap. My wife told me I looked “unsupportive.” Still, it’s a lot better if you don’t clap when you’re supposed to than the other way around.
Here’s an example. In one of those debates, Scott said to Mr. Trump, “We don’t need another apprentice.” Well I thought that was pretty much the funniest thing I had ever heard, so I started laughing and clapping up a storm, but Grace (one of our precinct captains, very judgy) looked at me and just started shaking her head. Apparently I don’t know when to clap OR when a joke is funny.
At a pancake breakfast in Iowa I clapped after Scott told a story about how his grandpa passed away, but the thing was it was right after people were clapping about getting rid of that dang Obamacare, so I got confused.
Then one day I was in a one-on-one meeting with Scott talking about how the payroll numbers were really bad. He laid his head down on the table and I’ll tell ya, he started crying. I wasn’t sure what to do — so I clapped! Turns out that wasn’t the right response there either.
Then, at the staff meeting, Scott announced we were going to, “Find the money,” and “Get to the White House,” which I knew couldn’t possibly be true, because, like I said, I’m good with numbers. I didn’t clap and I raised my hand and said, “Scott, we all know that’s not true. Why is everyone clapping? I really do not get when to clap or not to clap.” You should have seen the look Grace gave me then!
So then we were at Scott’s press conference where he was gonna announce he was suspending his campaign. Grace said, “This is the big one,” which is what she said before he announced that he was running. So I’d learned that when someone announces something big, you clap! Scott got to the part of his speech where he made his big announcement and oh boy did I clap! I knew right away I’d screwed it up again, mostly because Shaughn, one of our county chairpeople, quietly tackled me and took me outside.
Now I’m banned from all of Scott’s events, though I guess it doesn’t matter because there aren’t any more. All I can say is that politics is a crazy world. It’s full of subtlety and improvisation and clapping. None of which are my strong suit. I’m giving up on my dreams of the White House and going back to doing the books for my dad’s pancake restaurant. And Scott, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry that I clapped when you said you were quitting the race. You can come work at my dad’s pancake restaurant too if you need help paying back any campaign money, which I know you do, because again: bad at clapping, good at numbers.