Ursula von der Leyen or Nicki Minaj: Choose your fighter

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

Spare a thought for Ursula von der Leyen. How was anyone supposed to concentrate on her State of the Union speech with its vague policy ideas followed by dozens of MEPs droning on in response when Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles were still hanging in the air (metaphorically speaking)?

As Commission president, VDL can be counted on to keep her cool. There’s none of the danger you got with Jean-Claude Juncker, who could easily have spent the evening before a keynote speech “doing a Michael Gove” and proceeded to pepper his remarks with off-color jokes and animal impressions.

But even Juncker would have struggled to compete with the Minaj vs. British government spat, in which England’s top doctor Chris Whitty said people who spread vaccine  “untruths” should be “ashamed” after the rapper recounted the heartbreaking tale of her cousin’s friend, who got the vaccine only to have his balls swell up and become impotent, resulting in his girlfriend calling off their wedding.

Still, while the friend sits on comfy cushions waiting for the swelling to go down, at least he gets all the wedding cake to himself!

Minaj then proceeded to record and post an audio message (in a scandalous British accent) addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who had admitted not being completely au fait with the rapper’s work — in which she claimed to have gone to school with Margaret Thatcher.

If anyone from Hollywood is reading this, I’ve got a 300-page script ready to go — starring Octavia Spencer as Nicki Minaj, Patrick Stewart as Chris Whitty, Hugh Grant as Boris Johnson, and Nigel Farage and Donald Trump as the swollen testes.

Speaking of, er, massive balls-ups, German far-right leader Tino Chrupalla made a fool of himself during an interview with a children’s TV show.

There should be more German folks songs (does David Hasselhoff count?) and poems taught in schools, the head of the Alternative for Germany party said, to which the young interviewer responded: “I think we already have to memorize plenty of poems in school. What’s your favorite German poem?”

The silence was, as you imagine, deafening. Eventually, Chrupalla replied simply: “I can’t think of one.”

It wasn’t quite on the level of Sarah Palin being unable to name a single newspaper she reads, but embarrassing nonetheless.

At the time of the writing, the young reporter is polling at 75 percent ahead of this month’s German election.


“Are you completely sure this outfit is appropriate for the State of the Union speech, Mrs. von der Leyen?”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

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Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“Err… my name’s Cummings, I’m here for an eye test,” by Steve Higgs

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.

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