August 10, 2003
COLUMBUS: Folks, sometimes an opportunity comes along too good to pass up. Maybe once in a lifetime.
For me, twice. The first was when I was tabbed by the “Anti-Bunk” Party to run for President in 1928 against whoever the Republicans and Democrats put up, which turned out to be Herbert Hoover and Al Smith, two fine men in their own right.
The second is this here Governor’s race in California. Now I’ve got nothing personal against Mr. Gray Davis. He is a decent man, but kinda like Mr. Hoover, he chose the wrong year to get elected. After looking over the five hundred or so who were talking about running, I saw where my unusual qualifications as a humorist could stand out.
No other candidate can claim to have moved to California as early as 1919, and spent a lifetime making payments on a second mortgage. No other candidate has served as mayor of Beverly Hills and lived to joke about it. I could say I have been in the movies, but so have half the others, and some of my movies have been just as forgettable as theirs.
If Arnold from Austria can run, and Arianna from Greece, why not an Indian from Oklahoma. Besides there’s a whole lot more Okies in California than Austrians and Greeks, let me tell you. If I put some effort into it, I can be just as difficult for California to understand as those two are. And we’ll all need interpreters if we expect to get the Mexican vote.
No one can offer what I can. Does any other candidate have a state park to offer the voters? No. Only I can give them the Will Rogers State Park at Pacific Palisades, 180 peaceful acres in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. As a bonus they get polo every Sunday.
How about a day at the beach? The Will Rogers State Beach at Santa Monica is available any day to any voter willing to put up with crowded sand and a cold Pacific surf. Arianna doesn’t have a beach. In fact with her Greek accent she never even says the word “beach.” Afraid of insulting someone.
I am the only candidate with a plan to eliminate the $38,000,000,000 deficit. See, August 9 was way too soon to expect Californians to decide if they wanted to run. They need more time to round up 65 bonafide supporters and the $3500 filing fee so my plan is to extend the deadline till mid-September. I figure by then at least 11 million candidates will file, which if my McGuffey’s arithmetic is accurate, will wipe out the deficit.
August being a slow month, with not much going on but State Fairs and George Bush fund-raisers, I needed something to fill a column. Unless we take out Saddam or bin Laden soon, I may have to stretch these jokes out for a couple of months.
Folks, here is the real reason I decided to run. I already got all the speeches written out, from 1928. No need to change anything but a couple of names, and dates, and make it for just California instead of the whole country. Kinda like Ronald Reagan in 1980, only opposite.
So here goes, with Semi-Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (Life magazine, 1928)
Your “offer” (to nominate me for office) struck me like what the better-fed English authors call “a bolt from the Blue.” It leaves me dazed, and if I can stay dazed I ought to make a splendid Candidate.
Now I know after being nominated for anything, it’s customary after first buying a drink, to register modesty. In fact, the modesty lasts no longer than the drink.
Every Candidate always says, “Why there is dozens of men that is more competent to fill this office than I am.” Well I don’t feel that way about it at all. For after all, it’s only the office of Candidate that I am accepting. You know it don’t take near as good a man to be Candidate as it does to hold the office. That’s why we wisely defeat more than we elect.
I think I can accept defeat in as poor English as anyone.
I am heartily in accord with the Anti-Bunk Party, but by its very name it means that we will have no political support. Now I admit I can make a living outside politics, and when you admit that you can live without depending on politics, you lose right there the support of all politicians. If there is one thing that a politician hates worse than a recount, its somebody that is not in their business.
Now we may alienate the entire female vote, but there will be no effort for Sex Appeal. Of course if it unconsciously manifests itself, why we can’t help it. But it will by no means be one of the planks in our Platform.
In short our platform will be, WHATEVER THE OTHER FELLOW DON’T DO, WE WILL. Now no man would want a broader, or more numerous planked platform than that.
We make our platform as we go. If we get to a (county) where the farmers want relief, why we just stop and sell their farms for ’em, and give ’em relief. If we get to a place where the people claim they want lower taxes, why we have ’em sell their property and put the money in “Tax Exempt” bonds just like the rich. You see we are meeting the conditions as they come.
If somebody wants flood relief, we move ’em to higher ground. If somebody wants a Dam built in their section, why we let ’em do it through the Building and Loan. Any time you get ten voters you can rest assured we will give you what you want. We want every part of the (state) to do what they want to do regardless of some other part.
Now a word to the Republican voters, we won’t be able to pay you anything for your votes, so that will naturally eliminate all Republican support. And as we can’t pay the Democrats, they will naturally, if they have to vote for nothing, stay with their own Party, For they have been voting for nothing for years. So offhand its hard to see where our support is coming from.
There will also be no promise of jobs, for no defeated Candidate has ever been able to give anyone a job. So that is one bit of Bunk that will be eliminated early.
Our support will have to come from those who want NOTHING, and have the assurance of getting it.
To be continued…