Friday, June 13, 2008

Fake Political Campaigns

The crowd pleasing full contact sporting competition I like to call the "Presidential Race" has gotten a lot less amusing now that the presidential candidate field has been winnowed down to two presumptive nominees. We can all look forward to five months of the "he said - I'm disappointed he said that - I didn't say that, why are you distorting my record?" cycle.

Also, McCain and Obama are both too polished and, frankly, too polite, to let any real zingers fly. And there's so much $$ being spent on '08 that I doubt the machers in either party will allow things to go off the rails.

What I'm amazed about, though, it the apparent lack of joke candidates. When I was growing up, every four years the great cultural icons of the moment (usually advertising spokesmen, sometimes popular TV characters) would run gag-presidential campaigns. You don't see that anymore. What gives?

So here's my rundown of some of my favorite fake political campaigns from the past:

1. Bill the Cat.

Bloom County is my favorite all time comic strip. I still have my "Don't Blame Me, I voted for Bill and Opus" t-shirt. Do you?

2. Spuds McKenzie.

Apparently Anheuser-Busch is trying to hide the evidence, since I can't seem to locate a "Spuds for President" screenshot or video clip anywhere.

3. Randee of the Redwoods

Remember this guy? He ran a grass roots (okay, AstroTurf) campaign in '87, captured the youth vote, and lost out on the VP nod to Lloyd Bentsen by just a few hundred votes.

4. Brewster's Millions

Great, great flick with Richard Pryor and John Candy. If only more voters heeded his words and voted "none of above" on election day, we'd live in a very different world.

5. Dennis Kucinich

Seriously, did even his chippie wife think he had a shot?

6. Heywood Jablome

1983 candidate for president of the student counsel, Edmund Muskie Junior High School, Kearney, New Jersey. Lost to Anita Bath in a landslide.

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