February 13, 2019

Tweet Pete for Prez

Pub Notes

Today, I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America. The results are in from the work of my exploratory committee, and they say, “Go for it.”

Why, you may ask, would an unknown, inexperienced old white man run for the presidency? In the words of Bobby Kennedy, “Why not?”

Any Democrat who wants to be taken seriously in the coming years is running for president this time. It’s just what you do, if you hope to remain viable, to be taken seriously. If you are not running for president, you no longer count. You are out of it.

At this point in the game, it doesn’t matter whether you have a chance to win. It just matters that you are staying alive politically. President Trump didn’t expect to win when he got into the race against all those Republican candidates, and look what happened.

That time around, Hillary had the Democrats locked up from the get-go, though Bernie didn’t get the message until they tied it to the stake they drove through the heart of his campaign. All the rest of us had the sense to stay out of it, no matter how much we might have wanted it. So, between Obama and Hillary, for a dozen years, running for president was not an option for Democratic contenders. That’s why we’re all in it now. It’s the first shot we’ve had at it, and we’re all going for it. May the best person win! I really mean that, and of course I know that it won’t be me. But I’ll be in the game; I will be a real person. Here’s my advice: If you want to be taken seriously from now on, you’d better run, too.

I mean, ideally, the president should be somebody with governmental experience and knowledge of how government works and how ours fits into the world scheme of things. And, as we all know, the president should have some personal integrity, cannot tell a lie, etc., but we also know that none of that is absolutely necessary to be president.

And, no, I will not be resigning my position at Flagpole in order to run. Flagpole will benefit greatly from my candidacy, and that means I will, too. The money raised by my campaign will be poured into political ads in Flagpole. You may think that’s crooked, but I can show you in a Washington minute that Flagpole ads are the best promotion money can buy.

Yes, I will release my tax return, although I usually take an extension, and it may not be ready in time. I’m sure you’ll understand. It wouldn’t show you much, anyway, except that I am not a billionaire.

I have never performed in blackface, though I did wear a dress in our high school senior play, which I guess was making fun of women. Growing up, I was told that my maternal grandmother was part Cherokee, but just before I got ready to apply to Harvard, a genealogist showed me that the Cherokee ancestor was not on my grandmother’s side of the family, so I let Harvard slide. I like strong women, but they’re hip to my tricks, leaving me, like President Carter when tempted, to lust only in my heart.

That’s about it on my political balance sheet: no liabilities and no assets. I’m starting clean, hoping to build on my old-white-man base, and I seek the votes of all. I will accept a running mate of a different color or sex, and, shoot, i’ll even accept the vice-president slot, if that makes more sense. Abrams-McCommons would make an unbeatable ticket, but, alas, we’re both from Georgia, and the country is just not ready for that yet.

Jimmy was unknown outside Georgia when he ran for president. I am unknown outside Athens-Clarke County, so we’ve got that in common. At the present time, my name is a household word in only one household (and I can’t disclose what that word is), but that just means that the sky’s the limit. So, I invite and urge you to get on board now, before the ship fills up. Contributors and workers now could very well find themselves filling important positions later… or not. What have we got to lose? Bobby Burns said it best: “Ah, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”