21 August 2008

A Formal Announcement

Ending weeks of heated speculation, I am taking immediate steps to remove my name from the list of possible running mates for the major-party nominees for the presidency of the United States. After careful deliberation, I must respectfully decline both Senators’ interest. I am going now to rededicate myself to my family, although of course I will continue to speak out on the pressing issues that matter to rank-and-file Americans everywhere.

I urge my supporters to accept my decision and not to draft me as a write-in, to press for a roll-call voice vote, or to shout my name in high-pitched voices during the keynote speeches. No, my friends. Now is the time for all Americans to get behind the nominee of their party’s choice. Not too close behind, just an appropriate distance behind. And it is important also that we remain fully dressed while we get behind our nominees. We don’t want them to get funny ideas about us. God bless America!

Some may rush to say that I am being hasty, that the scandal will blow over and I will emerge a viable candidate. To them I say, “Which scandal?” For it is true that I have yet to denounce my pastor; indeed, I don’t even have one. It is also true that I have yet to disassociate myself from my top political adviser, Feldstein, despite his many controversial positions, which include sitting, standing, slouching, and immigration. It is equally true that I am not now, nor have I ever been, married to any of the women I have slept with. I do however want to take this opportunity to deny categorically that I have ever slept with Evan Bayh. I am not bayhsexual.

I understand that the press, as well as advisers to both campaigns, has questioned my skimpy legislative record, my lack of executive-branch experience or military service, my credentials, my judgment, my morals, and my handwriting. Senator Obama’s staff doubts that I could deliver my home state of Texas, and Senator McCain’s staff doubts that I could deliver my other home state of New York; President Bush has thrown himself into the debate by expressing doubts that I could deliver France. And Vice-President Cheney has stated publicly that I don’t know how to attach electrodes to the testicles. Pollsters assert that my principal constituency lies among middle-aged white college graduates who have met me at a cocktail mixer in Dubuque in 1996. To these nattering nabobs of negativity, I say, “Let them come to Berlin!”

Seriously. It’s a nice town.

I want to thank my family for standing behind me, although not too close and fully clothed, during this time. My wife, if I had one, would wear a good, Republican cloth coat. My children, if I had any, would wear good, Democratic tie-dyed dashikis. And my dog would wear a good, Libertarian collar, except that the whole point of being Libertarian is not wearing a dog collar. So my dog, if I had one, would be free-range, which would appeal equally to the Greens. And my dog would stand behind me now, too, although perhaps only partially clothed. It’s up to him. Or it would be, if I had a dog.

My parents, retired mill-workers who came to this country with nothing in their pockets but lint and a credit card, once dreamed of an America where their son could grow up splitting rails and building log cabins, eventually running for the vice-presidency and maybe buying them a nice retirement condo in Florida with rec-room privileges.

My friends, we are living that dream, you and I — at least the part where my parents dreamed of having a son, if not all the rest of it. But let us never forget: my parents did wake up, eventually! I talked to my father yesterday, and he was wide-awake. You could tell by the way he didn’t snore.

I am proud to represent their dream. I am proud to represent the spirit of change that is sweeping this country — change from a government of incompetent, unqualified, Ivy-educated, Texan baby-boomers to … I’ll have to get back to you on that.

I am proud to represent the hopes and aspirations of a statistically negligible percentage of Americans, proud to be an American, and proud to reject the nomination for the vice-presidency.

Thank you, and God bless Peoria.