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My Presidential Campaign
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Today I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States of America. You might justifiably point out that I-a Democrat-would be an odd choice to lead the Republican ticket. To these naysayers, I counter that by adding me to the field, Republicans would have enough candidates to field two complete football teams. This way, Bobby Jindal gets to play, too.
If elected, I promise to take the oath of office, put the New York Yankees on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and then promptly resign. My short list for Vice President so far includes Orioles manager Buck Showalter, Costco CEO W. Craig Jenilek, and Joe Biden, any of whom would lead this country with far more experience, wisdom and humor than I or, for that matter, any of the other current Republican candidates.
My shortcomings are legion. I have little experience relevant to this job that I do not intend to do, and I’m willing to put forth no effort at any point during this campaign.
But with George Pataki entering the race, I realized that I, too, am a largely unknown heterosexual white man in America. Even Bob Ehrlich is thinking about getting in. If they can, why not I?
I know what you’re thinking. “Who the heck are those guys?” That’s my strategy. I’m going to put on a gray suit and a red tie and slip in behind these guys. I’m a middle-aged white guy with short hair. I’ll blend into the crowd of candidates long enough for voters to get sick of everyone else. I figure it’ll take two months until I’m the frontrunner.
Sure, the primary process will be hard for a liberal Democrat. A sober-minded politician would shudder at the staggering impossibility of winning over the torch-and-pitchfork crowd that controls the primary process, but not being sober is something that will separate me from the field.
My opponents will inevitably bring up my history of causing Republicans to lose elections. Ask yourself, my fellow Americans, whether this is any different than my friends Rick Santorum and Ehrlich, both of whom got booted out of office all on their own.
In my more lucid moments I plan to make the case that there’s nothing wrong with the Republican Party that not being Republican can’t fix. In fact, it’s my Democratic bona fides that could win back the White House for Republicans. Shifting demographics, ideologies, and generations are slowly putting the GOP out to pasture. But instead of broadening its appeal, the Republicans have made their party so small and pure that it can’t win back the White House.
That’s where I can help. I already don’t agree with most of the stuff they stand for. I represent the voters they need to win over.
But that’s just a process argument that the pundits can recite on the Sunday morning gab fests to sound smart. What’s really going to get me elected is an anti-government stance that will unite this country: Everyone should get to punch their member of Congress in the nose.
See? Now you want to vote for me, don’t you?
Obviously, there would be restrictions: The privilege to sock one’s elected representative in the kisser would be limited to people who actually voted in every single election from president down to Inspector of Hides. And you only get to do it once every two years. This would inevitably increase voting participation and encourage Americans to read the newspapers.
And while punching politicians might be cruel, it could serve as a deterrent to doing the wrongheaded things that have made Congress less popular in opinion polls than North Korea, cockroaches, and lice. True, you’d never get another smart person to run for Congress ever again, but in most cases no one would notice a difference.
In conclusion, I promise never to disgrace the Republican Party by acting like a real Republican. All the GOP needs to do to win the White House is to nominate a liberal Democrat. Vote for me, and you get to punch Congress in the nose.
I’d better start working on my victory speech.
Jason Stanford is a regular contributor to the Austin American-Statesman, a Democratic consultant and a Truman National Security Project partner. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @JasStanford