Exploring the unthinkable


With less than nine months before the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the 2008 presidential race is already in high gear. 

Many of my fans have approached me suggesting that I form an Exploratory Committee to consider a run for the White House. Of course, I am flattered and humbled. To be honest, the many was actually one guy, Ken Harbinson of Old Town Village in Alexandria. And Im not sure Ken is playing with a full deck, if you get my drift.

Nevertheless, as I have mulled the idea it is starting to have some appeal. I mean, what the heck? I meet the Constitutional qualifications to be president: born in the U.S. and over 35. And Ken says I am no more of a dunderhead than any of the other hundred or so other dunderheads out there with exploratory committees. In fact, that ringing endorsement has given me an idea for my campaign slogan: Hayes: Dead Even with the other Dunderheads. Catchy, but too long for a bumper sticker.

But all this isnt as easy as it sounds. Ive run into a few snags.

First, I have formed the Committee but cant find anyone willing to serve on it. (Any volunteers out there?) Secondly, Ive rounded up some compasses, hiking boots and spelunker helmets; but I cant figure out, if I got any committee members, what exactly they would be exploring.

Then there is the matter of policy positions. To surge or not to surge? Tax and spend or spend and borrow? Bottle or draft?

Pat Paulson, the pioneer of non-serious candidates, ran for president in 1968. Ross Perot, the most serious of the non-serious, ran in 1988. Country singer Kinky Friedman, ran last fall for governor of Texas and comedian Al Franken is running for the Senate from Minnesota. So we are seeing an upsurge in non-serious candidates. But increasingly we are also seeing serious candidates get elected, then start to govern, only to have the people say Are you serious?

So the line between the serious candidates and us non-serious candidates is getting blurry.  With elected officials messing up so much, who can predict the outcome of any election?  I mean, what if I actually.

A teacher once told me to visualize your end goal, see it in your minds eye, and then work toward it. So I visualized the inaugural ceremonies and my acceptance speech.  With pen to paper, the opening lines almost wrote themselves: 
My fellow Americans, I am sure my surprise election is as terrifying to you as it is to me. The whole thing was supposed to be a joke..

No, Mr. Harbinson, I appreciate your idea and your confidence in me; but I must decline. Its just too risky.