Anybody can grow up and run for president -- and when I say 'anybody' ...

When my daughter was a baby, a co-worker of mine gave her a cute present – a white onesie with the slogan “Future President of the United States.”

 

I loved it. She wore it. And I would think, “What are the odds of her ever running for president?”

Apparently, pretty good.

The Federal Election Commission’s website keeps a running list of everyone who has filed a Presidential Form 2, which is the main piece of paperwork you have to submit to the government if you’re seeking the nation’s highest office.

As I write this, 1,492 candidates are registered to run for president in 2016.

Donald Trump is there. Hillary Clinton is there.

So are Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.

So are Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.

So are other questionable names such as Sir Cookie Zealot, John “Ming the Merciless” Wright, Porcupines R. Spikey Jr., Limberbutt McCubbins, Normal McAverage, Princess Oawlawolwadol, Walt the Savage, Zibble the Puppet, Zorro the Cockroach, Bippy the Clown and (get this) Rick Santorum. What?!

Fictional characters are coming out of the woodwork to run. The list includes Buddy the Elf, Jack Sparrow, Rocky Balboa, Jean-Luc Picard, Dr. Jekyll, Forrest Gump and Captain Crunch.

Satan King Smith, King Prescott Satan and His Majesty Satan Lord of Underworld Prince of Darkness all are running. The Antichrist seems to be a candidate too, but I think that’s just a ploy to eventually become Satan’s running mate.

 

LOOKING AT THE FEC list is like politics itself. It can be tough to parse out the genuine candidates from the jokes. There are 11 Green Party candidates, though I doubt the veracity of DJ Ultrapervert
or Lesale Venomancer Deathbringer.

There are at least seven dogs and four cats (including Limberbutt McCubbins) registered as candidates. I think the schnauzer should throw his support behind a front-runner and hold out to be appointed secretary of commerce.

Mickey Mouse is running. He always runs. But in a rare miss, Donald Duck isn’t running. More significantly, neither is Daffy Duck. You’d think with Donald not running, Daffy could just slip right in there and tie up the whole waterfowl vote.

All this foolishness tends to bury some honest and sincere candidates. Ken Cross of Batesville, Ark., is one of two Reform Party candidates for president, and he even has his own website. Here’s his “statement of purpose”:

“My purpose is to promote progress, enhance national security, encourage fiscal responsibility, promote fair trade practices, nurture the private enterprise system, protect the environment, promote equal justice under the law, and improve the general well-being of the citizenry of both present and future generations.”

Solid platform. Can’t argue with that.

Oh, I’m not voting for him. I just can’t argue with that.

Thomas Joseph Coyne, Ph.D., of Bath, Ohio, is listed as “unknown” for party affiliation but elsewhere he claims to be running as a Republican. He appears to be the only candidate asking “to finance research necessary to economically desalinate ocean water.”

 

IT DESCENDS from there. Derrick Waddell Cooper of San Francisco is the lone candidate for something called the American People’s Freedom Party. I couldn’t find his website, but I found a dandy 2013 legal brief from U.S. District Court. Apparently he tried to sue the entire U.S. government and every member of Congress to compel America to abandon capitalism. In attempting to describe Cooper’s complaint, the judge began by saying, “In general, the complaint, which is unintelligible in parts ...”

William Francis Curren V of New Canaan, Conn., is listed as one of 29 Communist Party candidates for president. Curren lists his address as a four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home recently appraised at more than $1 million. Way to go, comrade!

Brianna Hammel and Brenna Stubenbort of Cranberry Township, Pa., filed their presidential candidacies jointly, and with a singular purpose. Brianna posted a picture of her FEC paperwork last month on Twitter, saying “When you fill out a form for presidential candidacy because Donald Trump cannot win.”

The minimum age to be president is 35. I don’t know how old Brianna and Brenna are, but if a recent article in their hometown newspaper is to be believed, both girls recently made the senior honor roll at their high school.

There are tons of reasons to run for president – civic duty, a desire to push an agenda, the nation’s best free public housing. But William Schneider, a professor at George Mason University and a former CNN senior political analyst, hit it on the head in an interview with The Atlantic:

“It’s not difficult to put your name on the ballot,” he said. “It’s not difficult to file with the FEC. Then for the rest of your life you can claim, ‘I ran for president!’ Even if you only got 15 votes in New Hampshire.”

So with this huge field of candidates, please choose wisely this election season.

Oh, and to answer the question on everyone’s lips: Limberbutt McCubbins is running as a Democrat.

 

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