I like the sound of that. “Landphair for President”!
I can visualize the campaign buttons and slogans:
Ted in ‘12
Let’s Be Led by Ted
Theo’s for Meo
For our Land, a Phair Deal
I Adore Theodore
Speak Loudly for Teddy (a work-in-progress reference to the first Teddy president: man’s man Theodore Roosevelt, who famously said about diplomacy, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick”).
Or Put a Rough Writer in the White House might work. Roosevelt was a “rough rider” in the Spanish-American War.
I’m sure you think me nuts. After all, there’ll be stiff competition for the most powerful position in the world from people with a bit more experience, perhaps including the guy who holds the job right now.
Nuts, perhaps. But running for president is not all that difficult. According to the USA Today national newspaper, 366 Americans were certified as official candidates for America’s highest office in 2008 by the Federal Election Commission.
One was a guy named Randy Crow, a North Carolina Republican, who had run two previous times and — let me double-check here — yes, lost. Badly, I would wager, though his mother, a few friends, and some haters of the establishment might have voted for him.
And Crow is running again in ’12. Hey, this ain’t Russell Crowe. I can beat the guy.
And I’d trounce Rutherford B. Hayes, too, even though the paper says he is already “readying his presidential campaign.”
Rutherford B. Hayes? Wasn’t he already president a million years ago?
Well, Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican of Ohio, was elected president in 1876 and served just one four-year term. And no wonder. His Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, got more votes. A lot more — 280,000. But Hayes was elected because it’s not the popular vote but the preference of an “electoral college,” a small group of partisans chosen in proportion to the population of each state, plus the District of Columbia. If the Democratic candidate wins the popular vote in Arkansas, for example, the Democratic party’s choices would get all six of Arkansas’ electoral college seats and almost certainly cast their vote for the Democrat for president.
Republicans would do the same thing if their candidate got the most votes in a state, and they got all the state’s elector seats.
That’s how Hayes won. Even though Tilden got lots more of the public vote country-wide, the total of Republican electors in the states that Hayes carried was greater. Naturally, they picked Hayes, and he was off to the White House.
Indeed, that Rutherford B. Hayes — Rutherford Birchard Hayes — is long dead. It’s Rutherford Bert Hayes who “readying” his campaign for 2012.
I’ll crush him, too. He’s an independent, and no candidate unaffiliated with a major party has ever been elected chief executive. Besides, he’s foolish if he thinks the caché of the Rutherford B. Hayes name would carry much weight outside Delaware, Ohio, where the dead president was born.
Besides, I’m better qualified. I live in Washington, about three kilometers from the pulse of world power. This upstart Hayes lives in Washington state — in suburban Seattle, 4426 kilometers (2750 miles) away from the White House. I read the Washington Post and hobnob with VOA’s political correspondents. (Well, I see them in the hall.) Rutherford B. Hayes runs a gutter business. Compare my brilliant campaign slogans, above, with his likely, lame “Rut in the Gutter with Rutherford.”
How is it that Rutherford Bert Hayes, Randy Crow, and 24 other candidates so far have already registered as 2012 presidential candidates? Because it’s ridiculously easy. You simply fill out the Federal Election Commission’s “statement of candidacy form,” after which you can truthfully say that you’re “running for president.”
You don’t become official and recognized by the FEC until you’ve spent $5,000 or raised that much money in a campaign fund. I could probably scrape that much together, or my friends and colleagues would gladly chip in 10 bucks apiece. [Editor’s note: Dream on, Ted.]
Getting on an actual ballot is a little pricier. You have to pay each state a fee, starting at $1,000. My pals and I could swing that, too, right?
Think of the readership spike for “Ted Landphair’s America” if I could add a subtitle: “The Official Blog of Presidential Candidate Ted “Man of the People” Landphair.” I don’t know what the Voice of America would say about that, but the blog could go rogue if need be.
When the media ask rump candidates why they’re running for president, some are vague. Not Dennis Knill, a home remodeler from Sedona, Arizona. He told USA Today, “I don’t want to, but I feel I have to because we have a bunch of idiots in Washington. They are running the country, and somebody has to stop it.”
I won’t dodge the question, either. I want to be president for the perks. The limo, the helicopter over Beltway traffic jams, the trips to Rio and Paris and Bali, the Marines crisply saluting and opening the door. The free photo assistants for First Lady Carol. The “good evening, Mr. Presidents” and polished shoes each morning.
Heck, even my kids might have to call me “Mr. President.”
The White House chef will. “Lobster tails tonight, Mr. President? Filet mignon with rich balsamic glaze?”
I won’t bore you with my list of qualifications, long and impressive though it is. You know me. You love me. You’d vote for me in a heartbeat.
OK, so you live in Belarus. THAT’S tricky. But you can send my campaign a few Belarusian rubles and call your relatives in Kansas on my behalf.
Tell ‘em to vote for a shining dark horse, a worthy long shot, an estimable underdog. Teddy is Ready for 2012!
Ted's Wild Words
These are a few words from this posting that you may not know. Each time, I'll tell you a little about them and also place them into a cumulative archive of "Ted's Wild Words" in the right-hand column of the home page. Just click on it there, and if there's another word that you'd like me to explain, just ask!
Hobnob. To hang out with, or have a give-and-take conversation with your pals.To hang out with, or have a give-and-take conversation with your pals.
Rump. Aside from the usual meaning of a person or animal’s hindside, “rump” as an adjective describes a small part of a legislative body that does not have enough members to pass bills. Thus those in a “rump session” can discuss and argue but have little authority to do anything.