Presidential candidates, will you accept this rose?
President Obama may no longer be a candidate for public office, but you’d never know it judging by the recent White House schedule.
Yes, it’s tradition to trade zingers with other politicians, as Obama did at the recent Gridiron Club banquet in Washington. But, prior to that, perhaps in an effort to refine his comedic timing, the Commander in Chief popped up on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to participate in “Mean Tweets,” the talk show host’s popular segment where celebrities stare at their (hopefully secure) cell phones and read insulting, condescending comments composed by Twitter users. The funniest? “A 30-rack of Coors Light is now $23 at Sun Stop. Thanks Obama.”
As the lines of politics and entertainment become even more blurred, one can only wonder what the 2016 crops of presidential hopefuls will resort to as they campaign for the nation’s highest office. Seeing how easy it was for Kimmel to insert Obama into a wacky segment, it seems only a matter of time before other popular shows enter the fray. Oh heck, let’s just abandon our nation’s tried-and-true electoral process right now and choose a president using components from television’s highest rated reality shows.
We’ll begin in Iowa, a state still trying to explain what a “caucus” is and why its winners usually flame out faster than Paris Hilton’s movie career. Just ask Tom Harkin (winner 1992) and Richard Gephardt (1988). In 2016, the caucus will be renamed the Iowa Rose Ceremony; the top five vote getters from each party accept flowers in a Cedar Rapids barn while losing candidates weep, roll their eyes and make condescending comments about the winners, the state of Iowa and the entire political process before driving away on tractors, signaling their withdrawals from the race.
Remaining candidates are immediately whisked to a remote island and divided into two tribes … BUT WITH A TWIST! Each tribe contains members of both parties in an effort to see how they will work together. Tempers flare when Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul can’t agree on how to build a fire. Dr. Ben Carson withdraws from the competition, fearing that spending 40 days on an island could make him gay.
Once a single member from each party is crowned champion, the two select running mates. Potential vice presidents stand on a dimly lit stage and are given 90 seconds to state why they should be chosen. The presidential candidates sit in high-backed chairs listening to, but not seeing, the speeches. If they hear an intriguing idea, or even a well formed sentence or two, they push a large red button. Their chair swivels around and they come face to face with possible holders of the nation’s second highest office.
Network news anchors are given election night off. There are no exit polls, vote tallies nor predictions that it will all come down to Florida. Instead, both candidates sit on opposite sides of Maury Povich. At precisely midnight, Povich turns to the losing candidate and boldly exclaims, “You are NOT the president!”
The newly elected free world leader immediately flies to Los Angeles to compete on “Dancing with the Stars.” Meanwhile, all other candidates assemble in front of a live studio audience for C-SPAN’s highest rated show:
“After the Election: Losers Tell All.”
(c) 2015 GREG SCHWEM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC