Around 8:30 tonight, a group of concerned white senior citizens will alight delicately on an overlarge stage in Las Vegas and make a case for why they should be allowed to roost in the White House. The following is a field guide to help the amateur naturalist politics-watcher identify the non-Hillary Clintons you might spy in the underbrush.

Please note that none of the following are currently in season and hunting will be strictly forbidden.


Bernie Sanders

Habitat: Immature Sanderses could once be spotted on the streets of Brooklyn; the mature Sanders can be found roosting in the forests or whatever they have up there of Vermont.

Identifying Marks: Crested white plumage, perpetually pointing phalanges.

Mating Call:

Tracks: The delicate imprint of a bagel dipped in maple syrup, tracked across the undergrowth.

Prime Sighting Seasons: Visible year-round since 1981.

Strengths: Moral high ground, surprising agility.

Natural Predators and Weaknesses: Clinton operatives filming his speeches for gaffes, impertinent questions about his hair, Black Lives Matter protesters forcing him to confront the whiteness of his voter base.


Martin O’Malley

Habitat: O’Malley was born in the swamp of Washington D.C., before sensibly migrating to more hospitable lowlands of a governor’s office in Maryland.

Identifying Marks: Thousands of white teeth, impeccable tie knot.

Mating Call: ... is surprisingly effective, actually.

Tracks: Strings of wholesome-looking Catholic offspring trailing behind him.

Prime Sighting Seasons: Anywhere near a podium, also occasionally seen in stained glass windows.

Strengths: Ability to improvise, albeit mostly on that guitar.

Natural Predators and Weaknesses: Extremely overheated metaphors.


Jim Webb

Habitat: Virginia, we think?

Identifying Marks:

Mating Call: [Absolute silence]

Tracks: Very well-hidden.

Prime Sighting Seasons: Never, apparently.

Strengths: Excellent at concealment, occasional and surprisingly heated exchanges with George W. Bushes.

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Natural Predators and Weaknesses: Any other candidate poses a threat. Literally, any one of them. Just pick one.


Lincoln Chafee

Habitat: The probably-mythical elfin land of Rhode Island.

Identifying Marks: Distinctive center-parted plumage.

Mating Call: Unplaceable accent, repeated lengthy explanations about why he was previously a Republican.

Tracks: Weaving gracefully from the GOP to Independent to Democrat.

Prime Sighting Seasons: Democratic primaries and then never again, tbh.

Strengths: Able—or perhaps forced— to drive himself to campaign events.

Natural Predators and Weaknesses: Invisibility. : \


Other Wildlife in the Area

Anderson Cooper: Magnificent white crest, piercing blue facial markings, feathers significantly less rumpled and better-fitting than anyone else you’re likely to spot tonight.

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Concerned mom who begins question with “As a mom,” engaged young immigrant just trying to stay in the country and finish her education, white man who doesn’t have a question, per se, but more a series of statements: Sure to be spotted in any debate environment.

Microphone: The bulbous object your wildlife will be clustered around, hooting desperately for airtime.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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A turkey roosting in a tree. All photos via AP Images