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How Sweet: Politico Helps Students Prepare For The AP US Government & Politics Exam

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The 2012 presidential election was....please skip to Chapter 43: The 2016 Presidential Election.

Politico has decided to encourage bad habits, like following laughable presidential campaigns and cramming, by trying to teach 10 lessons on AP Government & Politics by May 15, which is the day that Young America takes these “advanced” multiple choice and essay tests on the only nation in the world. It is only up to Lesson 4, which is called “Gaffe-ing Out Loud.” It proposes that if you read an article by one M. Haberman on how surrogates have figured in the 2012 election, which is one of the most historic of ever, you might score well because they are definitely going to ask a question or two about Mitt Romney’s fired gay spokesperson Richard Grenell (no they will not). To emphasize important things, the lessons include keywords that are both italicized and bolded (paging The Conservative Teen, RIP!) And at the end of each “lesson” is a “test”! One of the questions in the “test” at the end of this particular “lesson” is, “What do you think about the topic of this POLITICO article?” You are going to Harvard, all thanks to Politico.

Here is a paragraph of randomly emphasized words and unsubstantiated conjectures about how modern presidential elections work.

Political party bosses grew less important and party elites held less sway as presidential primaries and caucuses made the national party conventions much less relevant in actually selecting the party nominees.

A successful presidential candidate must employ a giant marketing campaign with the ultimate task of staying on message during more than two years of planning and execution. You win if your handlers can articulate your campaign message persistently. You lose if you are saddled with the wrong impression.

Giant marketing campaign. What is a marketing? Also, “staying on message during more than two years of planning and execution.” If that is a question (and even if it isn’t), the answer is False.

OK, we think we’re ready to take the test!

1. What are the most important steps in building a successful presidential campaign?

Sponsored Intermission

Being a disgusting liar with lots of rich friends, or if you are unable to do that, being not old.

2. Explain why campaigns have become more candidate-centered and less party-centered.

It is fun. Americans they like Twitter and pictures of people. They like to see people who are not too wrinkly and can speak loudly and hate whoever is in office right now alot.

3. What are the positives and negatives of allowing party supporters to nominate candidates in primary elections?


4. What do you think about the topic of this POLITICO article? What’s your opinion about candidates being held accountable for comments made by supporters?

It’s ok. Candidates are not as smart as supporters because they have more to say and the more they say the more stressed out and stupid they might sound, so supporters need to sometimes say things for them when they are not around and they have more time to think, and, people like them because they have not seen them so much, and. so.

PREP’s Bonus Challenge:

What have been some of the most important public endorsements made in recent presidential campaigns, and why?

Abraham Lincoln
Sarah palin
Ivanka Trump
Albert Bloomberg

We are ready for this test! We could take it today. [Politico PREP!]

About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • nounverb911

    Did Politico have paid sponsors for this?

    • Callyson

      Brought to you by the Kochs…

  • actor212

    What have been some of the most important public endorsements made in recent presidential campaigns, and why?

    Bob Dole, for Diet Pepsi

    Oh, they mean OF candidates?

    In that case, Bob Dole, of Bob Dole.

    • MissTaken

      Bob Dole, for Viagra.

      • Fare la Volpe

        Bob Dole, for Depends.

    • skoalrebel

      Wrong. [spit!] It was Bob Dole for Viagra. One and a half arms and a throbbing cock, it's the Bob Dole way.

      • chicken_thief

        What's with the pen, oldster? Gonna take notes?! Oh….. sorry…..

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    AP tests are so elitist.

  • Sir_Fartz_Alot

    you call this news? RIP MCA

  • Goonemeritus

    Like most Democrats I live by the axiom that if Stalin didn’t say it is not worth committing to memory.

    • Chichikovovich

      I prefer the counsel of the Great Helmsman, myself.

  • actor212

    1. What are the most important steps in building a successful presidential campaign?

    First, buy kneepads, a case of Chapsticks and a gross of AstroGlide…

  • Baconzgood

    Mention Reagan eleventeen kajillion times helps to also.

  • skoalrebel

    My campaign doesn't need any of that fancy shit. [spit] I got where I am today by bucking the system. Yeah, that's how I roll. [spit]

    • Fare la Volpe

      Can I get honey mustard with that?

  • Blueb4sunrise

    MAPS and such as. Also, too.

    • Maman

      Oh. my favorite.

    • Sir_Fartz_Alot

      white boards are nice also, too.

  • starfanglednut

    Oooh, oooh, ooh! Pick me! I know AP US history!

    1) Jesus arrives in North America on dinosaur

    2) Dictates constitution to founding fathers

    3) Specifically states no rights for blahs, women or poors, plus mandatory gun ownership.

    4) Profit!

    • chicken_thief

      Also, too, Hussein worsterer than Carter because debt, libtard.

  • Maman

    Whew. Thank god we are just prepping for AP Psych this weekend.

  • SexySmurf

    What are the most important steps in building a successful presidential campaign?

    Have more money than Allah, start a rumor your opponent has an illegitimate black baby, and not be Newt Gingrich.

  • Schmannnity

    What are the most important steps in building a successful presidential campaign?

    Git yer crazy on.

  • EtchySketchy

    What have been some of the most important public endorsements made in recent presidential campaigns, and why?

    Hack media endorsements, because Win!!

  • boobookitteh

    True story – I once answered an essay test question, "Describe the effect of money on politics" with "Joe Kennedy bragged that with the amount of money he was spending on JFK's Senate campaign that he could get his Chauffeur elected."

    Sadly, my Poli Sci professor had no sense of humor and I had to switch my major.

  • SheriffRoscoe

    The first time I could answer "Koch sucking" on a test, and not be trying to deliberately flunk.

  • ttommyunger

    What next, a degree offered in "Feces Appreciation"?

    • FlownOver

      If Politico is involved, yeah, prolly.

  • Fare la Volpe

    Considering that not a single bit of this is actually tested on the AP US History exam, I get the feeling these kids will do just fine!

  • MissTaken

    MissTaken really hates is when people unnecessarily add bold and italics to their writing for no reason than to just get attention

    • actor212

      You never needed to do that, dear.

    • prommie

      And there are Those who Randomly Capitalize, too also, and thanks for making me self-conscious about it.

      • MissTaken

        I work with a Guy I call Sweatervest who loves To randomly Capitalize words In his Emails. Drives me Bonkers.

        • prommie

          But when I do it, its because I am sarcastically suggesting that the words in question are proper nouns. Really, I mean it. Thats my Story, and I am Sticking To It.

        • Fare la Volpe

          I Used To Know A Fellow Who Had to Capitalize Every Single Word But Only The First Letter. He Never Understood Why He Always Failed His Typing Exams.

      • actor212

        neEds moaR RandOm

      • Mumbletypeg

        aha — I bet reading A.A. Milne makes your blood curdle

    • imissopus

      And you call yourself an Internet Commenter?

    • C_R_Eature

      I Loathe Bold, but I favor Italics. Don't hate me.

    • IndianaKevin

      IndianaKevin likes it when people talk about themselves in the third person. It makes how own multiple-ness seem normal.

  • Designer_Rants

    paging The Conservative Teen, RIP!

    Wut? That magazine was going to produce stories for Wonketeers to laugh at FOREVER!

    • actor212

      Closed up in March.

      • starfanglednut

        Couldn't find any conservative teens who could read.

        • Designer_Rants

          Even with the bolding and the italicization?

  • Boojum

    Gubbermint in ten short easy questions, the answers to which will be wrong!

  • BarackMyWorld

    Pfft…because high school students read Politico?

  • weejee

    Which AP test is Drudge Lite hyping?
    AP = anal pleasure
    AP = absurd Politico
    AP = asshole pachyderms
    AP = assorted pumpkins
    AP = ???

    • chicken_thief

      Ann Poultgiest?

  • EtchySketchy

    Dear Politico,

    Is Santorum fellating Romney in the meeting today, or is Romney fellating Santorum?

    Thank you for your political cleverness, I look forward to your answer and the upcoming multiple choice blow job questionnaire.

    • actor212

      Oh, Santorum's the one in the pony-boy outfit, make no mistake

      • chicken_thief

        Mitt's already taken him for a ride on the roof of the car to clear the passage.

  • OneYieldRegular

    I'm pretty sure the answer to #4 is Ted Kaczynski, but otherwise I bombed.

  • SorosBot

    I got a 4 on the AP Government exam but my elitist college still didn't give me credit for it; in fact of all my APs the only one they accepted was the 5 for socialist unAmerican European history.

    • MissTaken

      I'm such a socialist that I went to one of those International Baccalaureate schools. My college didn't know what to do with my tested credits for Cultural Anthropology.

      • actor212

        They give credit for hot monkey sexing?

  • BarackMyWorld

    Guys, after reading some of the comments so far, I gotta point out it's an AP Government and Politics test, not AP History. Just sayin'.

    • Boojum


    • starfanglednut


    • chicken_thief

      'litist snob

  • MissTaken

    3. What are the positives and negatives of allowing party supporters to nominate candidates in primary elections?


    • prommie

      While it creates the illusion of being more democratic, it had the effect of increasing the cost of competing in the primaries, and thus it increased the candidates' reliance on wealthy donors, and therefore its effect is completely the opposite of what might logically be expected, it has made the nominating process less democratic and has increased corruption, and has concentrated even greater power in the hands of wealthy individuals and industries (power which used to be countered, to some extent, by the power of the political "bosses.")
      Do I get an A?

  • BarackMyWorld

    And as a former High School Social Studies teacher, I'd just like to add that maybe if those kids had paid attention in class and done their homework, they wouldn't need to be cramming at the last minute.

  • C_R_Eature

    This thing reads like the Politico staff had too many Study Breaks with Rum.

    • Sir_Fartz_Alot


  • YouBetcha

    Is our childrens learning? No? Ok then.

  • Boojum


  • smokefilledroommate

    Ryan Greatness Reisner · Nicolet High:

    lobbying is the most effective because it sends people to meet directly with our congresssman and senators enough senators means a win however testifying to the supreme court can be very effective every other case of the warren court 1953-1969 the american civll union was involved in. my least favorite intrest group is the definatly peta because there is a difference between animal testing and cruelty look at the number of vacinations that came out of animal testing my favorite is the nra they are right to defend guns go RON PAUL.

    • OneYieldRegular

      I haven't felt this kind of frisson since I learned that Levi Johnston was having another baby.

    • starfanglednut

      I must agree, The definatly peta is bad news.

  • SayItWithWookies

    What’s your opinion about candidates being held accountable for comments made by supporters?

    Let me ask Ted Kasczynski and James J. Lee.

  • Radiotherapy

    I like to study by taking notes on a Etch-A-Sketch.

  • Sir_Fartz_Alot
  • Guppy

    Ah, AP high school classes.

    A typical college credit course meets every other day for half the school year. A typical high school course meets every day for an entire school year.

    How do you stretch the same amount of material to fill up four times the amount of time? (Hint: POLITICO!1! is a master of this)

    Why, yes, I am bitter and do have an axe to grind, thank you so much for noticing!

  • owhatever

    First, become mayor of a small meth town in Alaska. The rest takes care of itself.

  • Boojum

    Has anyone read the fucking comments on that thing? I shudder.

  • horsedreamer_1

    With POLITICO'S help, you can score a 1 or 2 on the AP US HIST exam.

    (Note: it takes a 3 or better to earn college credit.)

  • MareRocks

    Unintentional self-deprecating humor?