Cutting Down Presidential Timber
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 99 19:29:00 -0800
Subject: Cutting Down Presidential Timber
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Joe Lavin" <email@example.com>
Cutting Down Presidential Timber
by Joe Lavin -- http://joelavin.com
Brace yourself. Campaign 2000 is about to start in earnest. When last I
wrote about this, it seemed there would be as many presidential candidates
as Pokemon characters, but over the past few months they seem to have been
dropping out at an alarming rate. By now, it appears that there may be only
four viable candidates left.
First, there's George W. Bush, who as you know is the Governor of -- well,
you know, that big state down south. Um, what's it called? Texas, I think.
In the past few weeks, Bush has shifted the focus of his campaign from
skirting the drug question to attempting to prove that he might have a clue
when it comes to foreign affairs and geography. So far, he hasn't been very
successful at this. Earlier in the year, he called the Greeks "Grecians."
Later, he couldn't tell whether he had met with the Prime Minister of
Slovenia or Slovakia. And, finally, he flunked a pop quiz on foreign leaders
by an impetuous Boston reporter. ("The Prime Minister of India is ... I
don't know.") Oh, if only Dan Quayle were still running! Imagine how much
fun a Bush-Quayle debate could be to watch.
Despite all this, W's working hard to learn more about foreign affairs
because that's just the sort of stuff presidential candidates are supposed
to know. And if the other candidates know about it, well, W wants to too.
After all, as they say, when in Rome, do like the, er, Romulans?
Still, somebody ought to inform our favorite letter that this is a
presidential campaign and not an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
In a debate, he's just not going to have the chance to ask, "Um, could I
use my lifeline now to call my Dad?"
Next, there's Senator John McCain whose people are busy telling everyone
that he's not crazy because of his time as a Vietnam POW. These are cruel
rumors being spread by another campaign, we are told. Never mind that the
first time I heard of this was when McCain started denying it. This is what
is known in politics as a preemptive strike. McCain is also denying that
he has a bad temper, and god damn it if you don't all just shut up about
it, he's really gonna start kicking some ass. And those rumors about him
being paranoid? That's also being spread by another campaign. They're out
to get him, I tell you.
On the Democratic side, the hot candidate is now Bill Bradley, and, well,
doesn't that just say something about the Democratic side when the hot
candidate is ... Bill Bradley? He seems to be smart enough, but this is not
exactly an exciting man. The Bradley campaign is apparently trying to
counter the boring and stiff Al Gore with a candidate who is tall, boring,
and stiff. Let's face it. There's not a whole lot of difference between
these two. Bradley's slogan might as well be: "Vote Bradley. He's taller!"
As for Al Gore, he's no longer the old boring and stiff Al Gore. No, perish
the thought! He's now the NEW boring and stiff Al Gore. Much like Bob Dole
in the last campaign, Al Gore has taken off the tie to show that he's a
spontaneous man of the people. Because, after all, there's nothing quite so
spontaneous as planning to be spontaneous. "Guess what, Tipper. I'm gonna
be spontaneous today!"
Now, Gore aides are trying to convince us that Gore is actually a funny guy.
Earlier this week, they somehow managed to get Salon to write an especially
ridiculous article all about Wacky Al and his sense of humor. The article
was basically a list of all the funny things Gore had done in his life.
These range from occasionally rolling oranges down the aisle of his plane
during takeoff to once fooling his doctor into thinking his hand was
bleeding by dipping it in salsa. Yes, it turns out that we've got a regular
comedian as Vice-President. Maybe if this whole Presidency thing doesn't
pan out, he could instead go into comedy.
And here's my favorite quote from the article:
"Asked to recount his own favorite comedic moment, he told aides to tell
this reporter about one particular morning when he was in the shower. It
was around the time he was starting to lose his hair, and he called out to
Tipper to tell her he really liked her new shampoo. He said it was great
stuff, felt 'really tingly.' Horror washed over her face as he poked his
lathered head out from behind the curtain and she saw what he was holding:
a bottle of Nair hair-removing lotion."
Yes, indeed, we'll all be rolling in the aisles from laughter if we elect
Wacky Al. I'm just hoping his Presidency comes with a laugh track so that
we'll know when we're supposed to laugh. Essentially, the main Gore message
is this: While he may seem dull in public, Gore is actually very funny in
private. And I sort of understand because -- when I'm in a private setting
and there's nobody around to verify anything -- I like to make arcane policy
statements about NAFTA. Honest.
Well, don't worry, in eleven months, we'll finally have a new President-
elect, and this will all seem like a bad dream. I bet you can't wait.
Copyright 1999 by Joe Lavin
© 1999 Peter Langston