WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Institute for Honesty in Political Discourse has announced that they have received evidence that Republican candidate for President of the United States was under the influence of performance-enhancing drug, caffeine, during Wednesday night’s debate.
The Institute, a watchdog group created soon after members of the public were shocked by the sheer amateurish nature of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation of satellite images of alleged Iraqi WMD bases, has announced that it has intelligence from a source inside the Romney campaign that former Governor Mitt Romney consumed “three to five” beverages containing espresso.
“We do not break this news lightly,” said the spokeswoman for the organization, Jessica Chalmers. “We know the implications of imbibing caffeine, not only on an individual level, but what it means for American political discourse.”
“Further,” she continued, “our source has confirmed that Governor Romney began utilizing caffeine during the Republican primary elections.”
The Institute primarily fact-checks political discourse, but will occasionally push politicians to be open about their private actions. One such controversial point in their history came in their involvement in the Representative Anthony Weiner Twitter debacle.
The Institute utilized a combination of evidence and guilt-laden recordings of Weiner’s mother to push the Congressman to admit his wrongdoing, a tactic that embroiled the organization in controversy.
Since then, the Institute has been largely silent, posting updates on claims made by politicians on its website, and little else.
However, with this latest announcement, the Institute has been thrust in the spotlight. Its president – Landon Jones, a former computer programmer from Amherst, Massachusetts – appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to speak about the Institute’s past, its partisan relations, and where he wants to take it.
“We are not affiliated with either party,” he said. “That should be clear.”
Jones then brought the focus back to the Romney issue. “What we have here is a clear example of a politician utilizing drugs to gain the upper hand against his opponent. We at the Institute want to know: What sort of precedent does this set?”
Though the country has been sent into a whirl of speculation over the allegations, there is a history of caffeine in politics.
It has been said that Abraham Lincoln drank “copious amounts” of coffee while drafting the Gettysburg Address.
Theodore Roosevelt was a rumored coffee-fiend, as well; the assassination attempt on his life rumored as having been funded by a coffee roaster whose business was shunned by the president.
And, at the root of it all, the Boston Tea Party, the singlemost important event that brought America from the tea-drinking world to the coffee-drinking sphere of influence.
Political precedent aside, caffeine has become a mark of shame, an indicator that a politician cannot hold his or her own.
“Governor Romney has never – I repeat, never – utilized caffeine on the campaign trail,” said Romney campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul. “He comes from a strict Mormon upbringing, and to use caffeine would be tantamount to blasphemy.”
The candidate himself spoke out: “My track record of success in both business and politics is founded on a natural work ethic. Caffeine is a tool of the sheep-like mass of humanity who want nothing more than to be coddled by the government.”
Allegations that President Obama’s bedraggled appearance was a result of caffeine withdrawals have so far been met with silence from the campaign.