On Wednesday, protesters "glitter bombed" Mitt Romney, fresh off his victory in the Florida primary. For those unfamiliar with the term, glitter bombing is the act of throwing glitter and/or confetti at a political target to bring attention to gay and women's rights. It has been called an act of assault by some, and the "most fabulous form of protest ever" by others. "Humor is an incredibly powerful tool for communicating a message — even a deadly serious one," says Nick Espinoa, Romney's assailant and a noted member of the "Glitterati," in The Huffington Post. Of course, Mitt is hardly the first GOP politician to "taste the rainbow." Here, a look back — with accompanying video clips — at 6 of the most notable glitter bomb targets:
1. Mitt Romney
At a campaign event in Minnesota, Mitt Romney was walking on stage when Espinosa tossed glitter on him, allegedly to protest the presidential candidate's stance on immigration. A smiling and evidently clueless Romney enthused: "This is confetti! We just won Florida!" Upon learning that he had just been glitter bombed, Romney "handled it well," says Dan Amira at New York, endearingly joking, "Oh, I've got glitter in my hair. That's not all that's in my hair, I'll tell you that. I glue it on every morning, whether I need to or not."
2. Rick Santorum
Last month in South Carolina, local students who belong to the Occupy Charleston movement glitter bombed Rick Santorum during a speech at a primary-night rally. Santorum was reportedly closing a speech about the importance of building strong family values, says Lindsay Street at Patch, when a protester yelled "Except when you're gay!" and glitter rained down. As the bombers were led from the building, they chanted "Rick, Rick, Rick! Bigot, bigot, bigot!"
3. Rick Santorum, again
Santorum was already a glitter-bomb veteran by the time he hit South Carolina. During the build-up to the Iowa caucuses, one male Iowan crashed a football viewing party and attempted to spray Santorum with sparkly bits, shouting, "Stop the hate! Taste the rainbow!" The bomber, who only partially succeeded, was reportedly unhappy with Santorum's anti-gay-marriage stance, says Madeleine Morgenstern at The Blaze. Santorum, however, "appeared unfazed."
4. Newt Gingrich
While signing books at a Minnesota event last May, future candidate Newt Gingrich was extravagantly glitter bombed by a gay activist, who hollered, "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop the anti-gay politics!" A droll Gingrich told reporters that it "was nice to live in a free country" (i.e. one in which glitter is a viable means of self-expression). Still, says Christopher Robbins at Gothamist, the former Speaker was assaulted with so much glitter, it's a wonder he managed to "refrain from immediately belting 'The Way We Were,' and getting gay married on the spot."
5. Tim Pawlenty
Minnesota governor — and former GOP presidential candidate — Tim Pawlenty was signing copies of his memoir Courage to Stand at a campaign stop in San Francisco last June when two women from the anti-war group CODEPINK pelted him with pink glitter. The group's founder, Medea Benjamin, told ABC News they were provoked by the governor's decision to veto a bill that would have given same-sex couples the same end-of-life rights as married, heterosexual couples. "Where is your courage to stand?" the two women yelled at Pawlenty. "Stand for reproductive rights! Stand for gay rights!"
6. Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann was doused in glitter last June during a campaign stop in Minneapolis, hit by a member of California's LGBT advocacy group Get Equal. Though the protester reportedly chased Bachmann yelling, "You can run but you can't hide!" — a reference to the ministry pushing for a same-sex marriage ban that goes by that name — Bachmann kept her composure, says Paul Walsh at The Star Tribune. She "continued her stride unbroken and keep her eyes fixed on people she intended to greet."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Pope Francis' American problem
- Why TheWeek.com is closing the comments section
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week