Elect-Me Elmo — and Other Potential Veeps
Our presidential candidates have been through a lot. At least mine sure has. So here is the ultimate gift: vice presidential short lists for each of them.
No need to thank me, friends (unless you win).
For John McCain:
— Elmo: As red-state as McCain — or red, anyway — but younger, cuddlier. Lowers the ticket age by about 173 percent. Genial nature could well recapture fawning press Sen. McCain got the first time around. Moreover, ready on day one to do the vice president's job, i.e., listen to his running mate's punch lines and laugh till he falls down.
Downside: Reacts the same way to Lou Dobbs.
— Tarzan: McCain needs it, and this guy's got it: the swing vote.
Downside: Only good suit is made of banana leaves.
— Regis Philbin: Karl Rove's lesson: Take your opponent's strength and make it his weakness. Post-Karl corollary: Take your own weakness and make it your strength. Who says two cranky, old white guys can't win? McCain-Philbin brings years — almost centuries — of experience to the job. Plus Philbin can promise that if he's elected, everyone goes home with a free juicer.
Downside: Tendency to interrupt stump speeches with, "We'll be right back with Eva Longoria!"
— Hillary: Would Obama get one ounce of airtime facing these two once they're a team? Nope.
Downside: Bad campaign slogan: "I'm with stupid."
— Michael Bloomberg: Understands the economy and owns a big chunk of it.
Downside: Um … he's short?
For Barack Obama:
— Pillsbury Doughboy: Supremely un-bitter, blue-collar white guy. Wears his preservatives like a badge of honor. Found on shelf farthest from the baby arugula but totally buys Sen. Obama's message: Can we have fresh-baked crescent rolls in just 20 minutes, provided the oven is preheated? "Yes, we can!"
Downside: In the heat of the campaign, could end up actually baked.
— Beyoncé: Just a great-looking ticket.
Downside: Americans may not be ready after eight years of Dick Cheney.
— George Clooney: Just a great-looking ticket.
Downside: See above.
— Hillary: Reunites the Democratic Party.
Downside: The vice president becomes president if something falls from the attic onto the president's head.
— Michael Bloomberg: Brings executive experience, terrorism smarts and giant wallet to campaign.
Downside: McCain will cry.
For Hillary Clinton:
— Cruella De Vil: Famed fierce femme makes Hillary look like a warm puppy by comparison. Equally obsessed by issues of black and white — albeit Dalmatians. Deep Disney roots could only help in L.A. fundraising.
— Al Gore: It worked for the other Clinton. Comes with enough "green cred" to spread around. Got that big prize last year.
Downside: Ethanol enthusiasm may have accidentally caused worldwide famine, pestilence, disease, death and higher prices of breakfast cereal. And those prices were already high.
— Isiah Thomas: Has dealt with sex scandals, angry New Yorkers, losing teams. Eager for a comeback. In short: Hillary in size 15 shoes. Nicely mutes the race issue, except …
Downside: African-Americans hate him, too.
— Katie Couric: Rose to the top on brains and moxie, only to be slammed by the sexism no one is willing to admit still rules the world. "Post-feminist America" still wants man in the job. In short: Hillary in a cuter skirt. The Thelma and Louise ticket, except …
Downside: Didn't Thelma and Louise drive off a cliff?
— Michael Bloomberg: As a subway rider, enhances her Everyman appeal.
Downside: As a billionaire, not so much.
Lenore Skenazy is a columnist at The New York Sun and Advertising Age. To find out more about Lenore Skenazy (email@example.com) and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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