May 3, 2000

Finally, the Presidential Race Gets Interesting

By Roy Rivenburg

Alien Nation: Normally at Off-Kilter, we take presidential races very seriously. No, wait. That's some other columnist. We never do. But we might have to rethink our cynicism in the wake of two historic developments in this year's campaign:

  • Barbie has announced she's running for president.
  • Space aliens have endorsed George W. Bush.
  • On the doll front, Mattel's candidate is clearly hoping to win on the basis of name recognition and a frightening Marilyn Quayle-meets-Hillary Clinton hairdo. Her only "platform" so far is platform shoes with accessories.

    But top campaign advisors Malibu Ken and Hollywood Hair Ken have devised a daring election strategy. In addition to urging that the White House be remodeled into the Barbie Dream White House (with guests staying in a special Lincoln Log Bedroom), they've recruited several heavyweights for Barbie's cabinet.

    Mr. Potato Head has agreed to serve as secretary of agriculture, Kung Fu Grip G.I. Joe has enlisted for defense secretary and the new attorney general will be Tickle Me Reno. Also, Buzz Lightyear will run NASA, Chatty Cathy will become press secretary and the surgeon general will be replaced with a plastic surgeon general.

    The vice presidential slot is still available. Barbie's first choice was Gumby, but he's planning a presidential run of his own, on the Green Party ticket.

    Meanwhile, the Weekly World News reports that the same space alien who supported Bill Clinton in 1992 has switched parties and will back George W. Bush in November.

    In a story headlined, "Endorsement Makes Texas Gov. a Shoo-In," WWN says the surprise announcement came after a secret two-hour meeting between the "pale, hairless being" and the "extraterrestrial." OK, so maybe they didn't actually refer to Bush as an extraterrestrial, but the point is the alien quizzed him about international affairs and basic astronomy and then gave the endorsement.

    According to the tabloid, the space creature went Republican because of unhappiness over "moral failures" in the Clinton White House.

    Then again, maybe Bush sold out the human race in exchange for interstellar backing. After all, it's no secret that millions of illegal space aliens from impoverished galaxies have been sneaking into the United States to work in menial jobs as busboys, strawberry pickers and guests on "The Jerry Springer Show."

    So perhaps Bush cut a deal to grant them citizenship. Or maybe he's giving them Nevada. Who knows?

    In any case, the endorsement represents a huge setback for Al Gore, who assumed he would inherit the alien's support from his predecessor, says WWN. But don't write off the Democrats just yet. We predict Gore will offset the alien vote by using his environmental record to attract endorsements from Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.

    Alarming Trends Bureau: In honor of National Tennis Month, Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist says his state will officially change the spelling of its name to "Tennis-E," but only for 24 hours.

    Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Cannibals Order Pizza -- Then Eat the Deliveryman!" (Weekly World News)

    But authorities say they won't prosecute because the cannibals "genuinely misunderstood the concept of ordering out."

    Unpaid Informants: Ann Harrison, Susanna Timmons, Bob Bennett, www.barbie.com, Wireless Flash News Service.

    Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
    Distributed by Creators Syndicate