U.S. Congress

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Campaign 2010: Concession Speech

My fellow Americans,

Looking out over the political horizon of the last ten years, I saw a real need in this country to stop using phrases that include the word "horizon" when there is no actual horizon. Another thing I saw is a great deal of evidence that in this land where we cherish the ideal of self-governance, just about any buffoon can achieve elected office.

It was in that spirit that I decided to hold some intense discussions with close advisors about what I could do to make a difference. For instance, this is an actual verbatim transcript of one of my high-level meetings:

ME: I've been giving serious consideration to something.
CLOSE ADVISOR: You? Serious consideration? Yeah, right.
ME: No, really, I'm thinking about running for office.
CLOSE ADVISOR: Have you been getting enough sleep?
ME: As much as usual. I want to know what you think ab-
CLOSE ADVISOR: It's pot, isn't it? You've started smoking pot.

It's good to have a close advisor who asks the tough questions. After firing him for insubordination, I made the decision myself: I would run for office.

The first thing I needed was a strategy. Having observed politics over many years, I knew that the effectiveness of a campaign strategy depends on the number of prongs it has. I considered a three-pronged strategy, but in the end I decided to go with only two prongs to kind of streamline the process.

Prong One was the decision to be a write-in candidate. That wasn't much of a decision, so to Prong One I added the decision about which office I would seek. After glancing at the ballot for a few seconds, I decided that the most reasonable course of action would be to set a realistic goal. With that in mind, I decided to run for nine of the ten offices on the ballot.

That way I'd really increase my chances. Most people run for one office at a time, putting all their marbles in one basket, or something like that, leaving them with only one way to get elected. That is a horribly flawed strategy. This isn't some kind of sporting event in which the official rules require you to take it "one game at a time," as many players and coaches will say. This is politics, the blood sport, where the goal is to step up, offering to serve your fellow citizens while destroying people's character along the way.

It was becoming evident that my strategy was shaping up to be different, rejecting all conventional wisdom, and then I got to...

Prong Two. This involved timing. Many candidates make the mistake of letting their opponents know they are running. They make announcement speeches months, sometimes even a year or more, before the election. This gives the other candidate time to do opposition research and discover bad things about you. I didn't want to go that route. I wanted the element of surprise.

So I decided that I would not announce my candidacy until yesterday, the day before the election. My opponents would have no idea I was running until it was too late to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars running negative ads designed to discredit me. They'd have no idea what to say about me. And it seems to have worked; as of this moment, late on election night, my opponents have not mentioned me a single time.

One thing a campaign needs is signs and bumper stickers. Because I was on a tight campaign budget, I didn't have the means to hire a Madison Avenue ad firm, so I had to do the signs myself and came up with these two:

Not all voters respond to fear, so this next one was designed to gain support for my candidacy by appealing to another common voter emotion: shame.

No one would put them in their yards.

When I walked into the polling place this morning, ready to write myself in for nine of the ten offices on the ballot, I had a great feeling wash over me that I figured must be patriotism. If you've never felt it, it's kind of like that rush of air that you feel when you pull a door open while entering a building. Yes, I had to open a door to go inside a school to vote, but I'm sure this was patriotism, possibly washing over me at the urging of George Washington's ghost. If that sounds a little creepy to you, then you probably hate America.

As of this moment, the most accurate vote count that I'm privy to indicates that I received at least one vote for each office. I'm considering demanding a recount, but it appears that I have been defeated in all nine of the races. As I mentioned earlier, there were ten offices on the ballot, but..."Comptroller General"? Really? I didn't vote for myself (or anyone else) in that race because I don't even know what that is, and I doubt the two candidates who ran for that office know either. So whoever won can have it. I really don't care. I just hope for the sake of The People that the winner knows how to comptrol in the best general manner.

I guess this the part where I'm supposed to congratulate my opponents on their victories tonight, and wish each of these conniving weasels the best of luck. So there it is.

To the voters, I say: I can't believe you didn't place your trust in me, even when I pledged to you that, if elected, my first official act in office would be to seek a pay raise for myself.

Thanks for nothing and goodnight.