BY PAUL CAPUTO AND JEFFREY CARL
STATE STAFF FORTUNETELLERS
Hello (note change). We are Jeff and Paul. We put the “ech” back in “election.”
In recent weeks, there has been much serious discussion of the big issues facing the nation’s presidential hopefuls. Frankly, that is the kind of claptrap you might read in boring newspapers (like The Richmond Times-Dispatch) or fundamentalist extremist pamphlets (like The Richmond Times-Dispatch).Well, there’s none of that crapola in The Richmond State. Nosiree Bob.
Because we just got our Crystal (“Magic 8”) Ball out again to predict what was going to happen in the election. This saves you valuable time reading newspapers, when you could have been watching “Punky Brewster.” So go ahead and cancel your subscription to the Times-Dispatch, and send us the money instead. You’ll thank us later.
Decision ‘96: A Look Ahead
March 14: President Clinton hits the campaign trail for the state primaries. He promises to “tax you bastards back to the Stone Age.” He adds, “Hey! You don’t like it? Vote for someone else. Oops! I’m the only one on the ticket!”
March 18: Lamar Alexander gets back in the race, claiming that “the tiny flowers told me to.”
March 19: Republican Richard Lugar drops out of the race, sparking headlines around the country of “Weather to Remain Cloudy Through Weekend.”
April 4: Bob Dole opts not to attend a debate among Republican hopefuls because he “always chokes during Double Jeopardy.”
April 16: Richard Lugar drops back in the race. An opinion poll reveals that 99% of Americans believe that he is not a real person, but a joke candidate with a silly name, like “Hugh G. Rection.”
May 4: Clinton arrives in Utah for the Democratic primary there and promises “I’ll personally kick the ass of everybody who votes for me. I dare you.”
May 20: Lamar Alexander’s campaign stalls when, in a televised debate, he blames unemployment on “Space Aliens.”
June 1: Malcolm “Steve” Forbes spends an unprecedented $400 gazillion on advertising to annouce that Richard Lugar is dropping out of the race.
June 18: Pat Buchanan, fighting allegations of racism, claims that he has met several black people, and tipped them all very well.
July 2: Clinton, campaigning for the Wyoming state primary, places a random phone call to a Wyoming resident and asks him to “let people know I’m running, okay?”
July 7: Dole’s approval rating slips into negative numbers when he changes his campaign slogan from “The Choice of an Old Rich White Generation” to “Soon I’ll Be Dead.”
July 22: Dole fails to show for yet another Republican debate, saying, “I had to wash my hair.”
August 6: President Clinton takes his campaign to Delaware. “Nice quote-unquote ‘state’ you got here,” he says, adding, “I hope all 12 of you voted for me in your primary last month. But you know what? I really don’t give a dead rat’s ass.”
August 12: In a speech at the Republican national convention in San Diego, Malcom “Steve” Forbes admits that there is just no way for “Steve” to be short for “Malcolm.” Furthermore, he says, “I’m not wearing any pants right now.”
August 13: At the convention, Bob Dole wins the GOP nomination, barely edging out surprise contenders Elizabeth Dole and “Pongo Twistleton.” Dole introduces the GOP’s election slogan: “Dole: Because I’m older and meaner.”
August 14: Buchanan, spurned by the party’s voters but still a good sport about it, announces that “everybody can go bite me.”
August 15: Lamar Alexander, desperate for publicity, announces that “everybody can bite me, too, if they want.”
August 19: Richard Lugar announces that he may drop out of the race, adding, “and then you’d be sorry!”
August 21: Republican leaders search long and hard for a Vice Presidential candidate to perfectly complement Bob Dole. Unfortunately, Ray Charles turns down the invitation.
August 23: Buchanan is frustrated when, searching for a name for his own new political party, an aide informs him that “Nazi” was taken already.
August 26: At the Democratic convention, Clinton accepts the party’s nomination. His entire acceptance speech: “Oh, big surprise. Yeah, whatever.” Clinton and Gore capture all but three Democratic delegates, who remain steadfast in their support for Jimmy “J. J.” Walker and “Pongo Twistleton.”
September 1: Buchanan, still searching for a party name, rejects “The Cranky White Party;” “It’s My Party and I’ll Run if I Want To;” and “The Citizens for Better Broadcasting.” He eventually settles on the “I Hate People Party.”
September 9: Clinton, realizing that he has an opponent now, attacks Dole’s war record, saying that Dole was wounded in World War II “because he just wasn’t trying hard enough.”
September 15: Dole is hurt when congressional Republicans announce that they are holding out on the “Contract With America” until they receive a signing bonus and a 10% cut in healthcare for the elderly if they bat over .300.
September 16: After Tony Danza, Colin Powell and “Hamburgler” turn down the VP nomination, Republicans announce that they will give it to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who promises to “attend state funerals and kick ass.”
September 19: Pat Buchanan announces that his running mate will be T-D editor Ross MacKenzie.
September 26: Clinton defends his own war record, saying that he “saw more action at an Arkansas cheerleader convention than Dole did in all of World War II.” Clinton adds that people have been shooting at him a lot lately, but he can still use both his arms, so what’s the big deal?
September 28: A Gallup Poll finds that the biggest concern of voters is the Budget Deficit. However, due to a typo, it appears in reports as the “Budgie Deficit.”
September 29: Clinton calls Robert Gallup and asks, “Budgie?! You mean like a parakeet?!” Gallup, in a further typo, says “Yes.”
September 30: Clinton announces that he will place three parakeets in his cabinet, and appoint a talking parrot as his press chief. However, its only answers to the press will be “Squawk!” and “Polly loves a Sailor.” Later, Dole counterattacks, mentioning that he lost a parakeet in World War II.
October 3: Al Gore scores big points when he appears on “Seinfeld” as Kramer’s long-lost, more normal twin, “Warren.”
October 10: Reader’s Digest names Clinton advisor James Carville “The Scariest-Looking Sonovabitch in the World.”
October 11: Dole is haunted by his past when it is revealed that he played the evil white guy “Mr. Big” in the movie Shaft. When asked about it, he says “Hush yo’ mouth! I’m talkin’ ‘bout Shaft.”
October 15: Clinton’s polls drop when, in an unguarded moment, he sucks an entire quart of “Miracle Whip” through a straw on national TV.
October 17: Dole is again hurt by his past when it is revealed that he, as a young Senator, played an improper role in the Louisiana Purchase of 1815.
October 24: “Whitewater” comes back to haunt Clinton, as it is revealed that he owned stock in the White Water Company, the largest maker of racially-segregated drinking fountains in the South.
October 28: Hoping that publicity lightning will strike twice, Clinton plays the saxophone on national TV. Unfortunately, it is on a particularly depressing episode of “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” and no one is amused.
November 2: Ross Perot enters the race, saying “Hell, I’m older, meaner and whiter than any of these guys.”
November 3: Dole is hurt when reporters discover that Dole, just out of high school, was an intern for the Spanish Inquisition.
November 4: Clinton is hurt when reporters discover that he really is basically just a big hillbilly.
November 5 (Election Day): In a surprise move, disgruntled voters elect as president the entire cast of “Friends.”
November 9: Richard Lugar drops out of the race.