Rumors continue to circulate about Donald Trump possibly dropping out of the election. That is understandably making GOP leadership nervous, because there's no way they're going to be able to return the gigantic novelty hairpiece they got for the top of Air Force One. Naturally, they have been weighing their backup options and have come up with an impressive shortlist of other possibilities that could maintain the momentum of the Trump campaign without the man himself. I've obtained a copy through a very plausible and reasonable set of events, and I'm here to share it with you:
#50. Marco Rubio
Provided he's still interested, Marco Rubio would be a solid pick because of his willingness to reach across the aisle on immigration reform as well as social issues where younger demographics lean progressive.
#49. A Big Stump
If we could find a big, good-looking stump, we'd have a candidate with many of the appealing traits of our current candidate (unexpected, an outsider, would shake up the system) but with a much lower probability of causing a nuclear war. Could make a lot of "stump speech" jokes, which, honestly, I don't see getting old before election day, provided we can teach it to talk. Note: If we go this direction, it would be good if the stump were created by logging or mining. Could play well in Virginia.
#48. The Bad Sensei From Karate Kid
Sensei John Kreese is a straight shooter and a tough talker. He's a veteran and a small-business owner. Perhaps most importantly, he displays a willingness to do whatever it takes to win. While he does have a reputation for being hostile toward Asians, this could possibly be spun into a "strong anti-China" stance. Great hair.
You're the best! Around!
We'll take whoever we can right now!
#47. Jeb Bush
#46. Trained Dolphins
Dolphins are highly intelligent animals. Recent studies show they have a sense of self and can think about the future. Basically, the sky is the limit on what we can train these babies to do: jump through hoops for fish, clap for fish, swim backward for fish ... really anything. We therefore wouldn't be taking a step backward in our candidate's understanding of foreign policy. Large numbers of them in Florida could put that state back into play (but note: cannot vote and have no hands).
Also, possibly blowhards.
Sorry if this is causing any confusion: This entry isn't meant to stand in for other, similar possibilities; I'd like us to consider running the abbreviation "etc." Great brand recognition, helps millions of Americans every day, excellent for glossing over things (which, I don't think I need to stress why that might be useful).
#44. Chris Christie
I very much doubt we can run Christie for much of anything anymore after the backflip he did for us on Trump. I mean, the guy said Trump had "not the first idea of how to run a government" and then endorsed him a few weeks later. But he's on this list because it's just too funny to get his hopes up. Please mention seeing his name on this list if you talk to him, and also please record his reaction for a supercut we're putting together. OK, back to serious candidates:
#43. A Smaller Stump
I really don't want us to gloss over the stump idea in case we can't find a good big one. I'm not saying we should definitely run a stump no matter what; I just want to make sure we keep our options open here, because they're kind of limited at this point, to be honest. Yes, most successful candidates have been tall, but let's give the public some credit here.
"My word, like me, is as strong as oak."
#42. Two Ferrets Fighting In A Burlap Sack
I don't think ferrets are naturally violent, but I'm reasonably sure these two would fight if we put them in a sack together. The protests from PETA alone would get us covered on all channels all the time. Also, I'm not sure if "two ferrets fighting in a burlap sack" is in the Bible, but it feels really biblical, which is the important thing. Could play well inside churches (many of which are polling places).
#41. Ursula The Sea Witch
Ursula is a woman (note: Check on this?) who is a born leader. She led a completely bloodless change of power in Atlantis and has real-world experience running a garden of withered polyps that used to be her foes. Knows how to create leverage to use in negotiations with adversaries. Aligns with current candidate on using enemies' families against them.
#40. Untrained Dolphins
Don't mean to harp on the sea creatures thing, but it turns out that none of the trained dolphins were interested in taking over this campaign. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, though. A lot of the more educated dolphins can come off as elitist, whereas an untrained dolphin tends to speak from its three guts.
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
"I have nothing against whales. I'm just saying some are killers, rapists, and some, I assume, are good aquatic mammals."
#39. The Verizon Guy Who Is Now The Sprint Guy
Charismatic, household sort-of-name, clearly willing to switch allegiances when contractually allowed to do so. Strong possibility he'd consider the job given the bottomless sadness behind his eyes.
#38. Ben Carson
I think we need to strongly consider a Ben Carson ticket: Ben Folds and Carson Daily would make powerful running mates, especially when it comes to millennials, where we are weak right now. This would be a real opportunity to say "We aren't a bunch of white guys stuck in the '80s; we're a bunch of white guys who still fondly remember TRL circa 1998."
#37. Slender Man
For those who don't know, Slender Man is a mysterious unnaturally tall and thin man who wears a black suit, has no face, and hangs out with kids, aka the ideal candidate for shaking hands (which he can do from a really surprising distance) and kissing babies (which he does every night in their dreams). Of the choices available to us, very strong option here. Knows that our children are his future, is very tall.
#36. A Slender Man
This would just be a slender man, but not a mysterious faceless kindermancer. Preferably still tall, though.
There is some chance that if we ran the number 45 to be the 45th president of the United States, people would just go with it.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
If it polls poorly, we can just switch to 23.
#34. A Confederate Flag, But Not In A Racist Way
Like a very tasteful Confederate flag that could appeal to our Southern base's heritage. But just not the racist parts of their heritage. We'd want to really stress that this isn't meant to be racist while still keeping things lighthearted, so maybe write "not racist" on the flag with a winky face after it ;).
#33. A New Avengers Movie
Obviously Doctor Strange does not count.
#32. Cool New Robot
We have driverless cars, and we have Amazon Alexa. I'd be very surprised if we couldn't get Google or somebody to -- I don't know the details here -- but to basically make us a robot president. Again, I'm not an engineer or anything, but that seems way easier than a lot of stuff they already have going. Only con is that RoboPres could come off as elitist.
#31. Barack Obama If He Hits His Head
It would really solve so many of our problems if Obama somehow bumped his head and did a complete 180 on his views and wanted to run as a Republican. We'd have to figure out how to get him to serve a third term, but if there's anybody that could do it, it would be Bizzarrock. (That's a name I just came up with for this plan.) Would also work for me if we had some kind of conservativization chamber we could put him in.
#30. Good Hitler
#29. The President Was Inside Each And Every One Of Us
Maybe we all went through this journey together as a nation to realize in the end that we were the president we were looking for.
#28. Chelsea Clinton
Is Hillary so heartless as to run against her own daughter? Could play very well with daughters.
#27. Ted Cruz/Carly Fiorina/Rick Santorum/Etc.
Look, obviously we're not going to run any of these losers; I just wanted to emphasize again how useful "etc." is as an abbreviation: We had so many other people running this time around, and we don't have to remember their names or faces because of "etc." Pretty convenient, right?
#26. The Sound Made By An Elderly Dog Attempting To Get Up Onto The Couch
Very sad, but also very endearing. Would be difficult to vote against this.
If Strom Thurmond could get elected at 133 in human years, so could Byron's hip creaks in dog years.
If we've learned anything this cycle, it's that there really is no such thing as bad press. Also, making ISIS our president would immediately end our conflict with ISIS, which would be 100 percent due to GOP ingenuity, baby.
#24. Also Hillary Clinton
There must be another person out there named Hillary Clinton. We just run her and we're guaranteed a tight race just from people not knowing which candidate is which.
#23. Even More Also Hillary Clinton
Better yet, we find a Hillary lookalike and get her to change her name! OK, really feeling like we've got this in the bag now.
#22. The 1950s
Maybe our messaging so far has been too oblique: Rather than hint at "Make America great again," let's actually run the decade of the 1950s as our candidate. A decade when the industry was booming and the Vietnam War looked easily winnable. I love this as a choice but can't think about it too much or I need to change my underwear again.
The Don Drapering alone ...
#21. Our Children
They literally are our future. Maybe it's time they started pulling their weight around here. So many candidates talk about doing things for our children, but we all know handouts just foster laziness and dependence on the state. Make America's children president so they'll learn self-reliance and we won't have to worry about their futures at all.
#20. That Rickroll Video
Every time someone tries to talk about or to our candidate, that video just plays in full. Can't score any points against him, boom: Election is ours.
Knowing CPR saves lives. Period. And regrettably few people in our country know how to properly administer CPR. Every time Clinton tried to change the subject from CPR to something else, she would literally be killing people.
#18. Rand Paul
Aha! Kidding on this one, obviously. Just checking we were all still paying attention. Rand Paul would be suicide for us.
#17. Four Tuna Sandwiches That Have Been Left In The Sun And Gnawed At By Wild Dogs
Surprisingly pro-drilling in the Gulf.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Bonus points if you stick them with American flag toothpicks.
They really didn't do a terrible job of running the country before.
#15. Shorts In Winter
Bold, forward-thinking, ready for climate change.
#14. The Shadowy Council Of Elders
Why don't we just cut out the middleman and elect the Shadowy Council Of Elders that has run all world governments since ancient Mesopotamia? Could help balance the budget by never having to hold an election again.
#13. 28 Days Later Is A Great Movie
You simply cannot argue with facts. 28 Days Later isn't just scary; it's a human story innovatively told. From the concept to the dialogue to the camera work, it's a real treat that shows you don't need a big Hollywood budget to make a great zombie film (in fact, it may even help not to!).
#12. A Giraffe
Very tall. If Slender Man can't do it, I'm almost positive that a giraffe would. Giraffes are very ambitious and easily persuaded into running for public office.
#11. Real Maple Syrup
Real maple syrup is actually really expensive. Most people have never had it and don't even realize. The stuff on the tables at restaurants is just flavored high fructose corn syrup. The thing is, once you go real maple, you can never go back. We give everyone a taste of the real thing and they'll be hooked. Presidency secured.
#10. Gordon Gekko
Business expert, excellent speaker, has not been in jail for a little bit.
Primal lurker of the depths and king of unfathomable madness. Small but very devoted following.
#8. A Quiet, Normal Man Who Lives Next Door And Keeps To Himself
Can't see what could go wrong here.
#7. Two Giraffes On Top Of One Another
We'd have to build some kind of platform on the head of the bottom giraffe for the top one to stand on, but this could be the tallest candidate yet.
Bonus points if they use an enormous trench coat like stacked up kids trying to sneak into an R-rated movie.
#6. A Riddle That You Couldn't Really Have Guessed So It Just Makes You Go, "Huh."
People love these kinds of riddles. Or, not love them, exactly. But they're pretty "huh" about them.
#5. Dolphins That Haven't Had Training But Are Self-Starters
Let's not rule out any dolphins just because of their education level. Education and intelligence are different things. Note: Could possibly come off as elitist.
OK, we literally nominate everything except for Hillary Clinton. You, me, dogs, cats, the concept of existential dread, you name it. Then American voters would be faced with a clear choice: Who do you believe in more, Hillary Clinton or literally an amalgamation of everything else? That's an easy choice to make.
#3. Crowdsource The Presidency
Uber, Airbnb, the sharing economy. Let's do that but with the presidency: Whenever a presidential decision needed to be made, we would consult our pool of freelance, part-time presidents, and whoever responded first would make that decision and get paid for that decision. Making good decisions would earn presidents better ratings and bigger tips.
#2. The Hotel From The Shining
Old-timey and charming. Very popular with white, middle-aged dads.
May need new speechwriters.
If none of the above works out, we can still run a "Trump" campaign by paying the licensing fee to use the Trump brand for a different candidate. So it would be a Trump-branded campaign, just without Trump in a hands-on role. I could see very strong messaging with "Trump Candidates: Jeb 2016."
Aaron Kheifets would happily spearhead the Republican ticket despite his very funny Twitter.
See how Trump can make his plans a reality in 5 Very Possible Nightmare Scenarios From A Trump Presidency, and get inside the head of a Trump supporter in 5 Ways We Got The Trump Campaign Wrong: An Insider Explains.
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