PHIL WIELAND: And the winner isn't - President President

2012-11-23T00:00:00Z PHIL WIELAND: And the winner isn't - President PresidentPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com
November 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

This is a wonderful country where anybody can grow up to run for president whether they actually grow up or even actually exist.

Disney characters, usually led by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, usually receive write-in votes for president, perhaps because the major party candidates seem too goofy. Mr. Mouse polled 10 votes in Porter County this year.

Porter County also cast votes for Big Bird, who was loved by Mitt Romney, and Bob the Builder, apparently based on his strong jobs and rebuilding program. These four fictional characters had name recognition, which wasn't the case for Virgil Good, Jill Stein or Stewart Alexander, who also got votes.

The latter three filed under the Constitution, Green and Socialist parties, respectively, and they were among the 417 people who filed to run for president or vice president in this election, according to the Federal Election Commission. If all of them were on the ballot, Florida would still be voting.

It takes more than just saying you want to be a candidate to be on the FEC list. You have to receive contributions of $5,000 or more or give permission to someone else to raise campaign money for you and they have collected $5,000 or more. Too bad that isn't the maximum each candidate is allowed to spend.

While a minimum of more than $2 million was collected on behalf of the 417 people interested in being president, that's about what was spent by the two major parties on advertising every minute for the past year. It's also about what the cost will be for my election PTSD therapy.

The list of the wannabes, and I am not making these up, includes two with "president" in their names: Warren Roderick President Ashe (a Democrat) and President Emperor Caesar, an "other" party candidate, who apparently tried to cover all the bases.

Comedienne Roseanne Barr filed as a Green Party candidate, but celebrity names appear regularly. Republican George Bailey hoped to earn his presidential wings, and independent David Crosby (not the singer) would have felt eight miles high if he had won.

None would have commanded the respect of Horace "Godzilla" Ashley, an "other," or Republican Jonathon The Impaler Sharkey. Unusual approaches to enhancing their voter appeal, to be sure.

Political names abounded, such as Rutherford Bert Hayes, George Washington Williams and the doubly blessed Jeff Howard Taft Davis. A Green Party candidate might have appealed to the anti-war faction, Robert Peace, while the religious right could have gone for Republican Ole Savior.

But they all pale in comparison to the one candidate who delivers on all his promises -- at least once a year. Santa Claus. You can look it up. Naturally, he filed as an independent.

The opinions are those of the writer. He can be reached at phil.wieland@nwi.com or (219) 548-4352.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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