Mr. Chatterbox

Mr. Chatterbox Throws His Hat in the Ring for President

Apparently it’s the latest smart career move when you’re stuck in a mid-level job, Mr. C. says.

By Robert Plunket July 1, 2019 Published in the July 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Image: Regan Dunnick 

There are so many nonentities running for the Democratic presidential nomination that I’m tempted to join in. Apparently it’s the latest smart career move when you’re stuck in a mid-level job. And these days they’ve changed the rules. Anybody can run. Man, woman, black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, LGBTQ—we even have a Hindu. I think I might have a real chance. Vern Buchanan once told me that he’d love to run against somebody like me.

So let’s take a long hard look at the Dems to see where I stand. First of all, Joe Biden. Boy, his candidacy is turning out to be an ordeal. It’s like trying to take away Grandpa’s car keys. You drop hint after hint but he just doesn’t get it. I’m over 70 and the idea of a guy even older than me running things is scary. You need to save your mornings and afternoons for trips to the bathroom. There are exceptions, of course. One of the things I like most about Trump is his physical stamina. I admire a man who gets up at 4 a.m. and does some creative writing.

If you think Biden—and Bernie—are old, wait till you get a load of our next candidate, Mike Gravel. He has trouble getting up at any hour and walks with a cane. He’ll be over 90 when he’s inaugurated. An ex-senator from Alaska, he was goaded into running by some teenagers online. His policies tend to be radical and his foreign policy very dovish. He’s still bragging about something he did during Vietnam. His only endearing quality is the way he hectors the other candidates, which can be pretty amusing. He said Beto O’Rourke “jumped up on the tables like he had Saint Vitus’ dance.”

Beto’s already fading, thank God. He was my biggest competition. It would be the battle of the entitled white male attention seekers. Have you seen that video of him singing with the grunge band while dressed in a onesie? And as for Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor from South Bend, well, he’s not really competition at all. I’m a lot gayer than he is and I’m still in the closet. Too bad about the president’s Alfred E. Neuman crack. It was the cleverest insult Trump has ever tweeted.

After Pete, the list—the men, anyway—turns into a LinkedIn list of guys you’ve heard of but aren’t sure who they are, like B-list Sarasota realtors. They include Steve Bullock, Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Seth Moulton, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Julián Castro, John Delaney and Wayne Messam. The only one I consider a real threat is Andrew Yang, who has come up with a brilliant platform I plan to steal if nominated.

Yang is a tech entrepreneur who rants and wails about the way the system has screwed over American workers. But instead of wanting to retrain them for tech jobs like all the other candidates, he wants to give them $1,000 a month. That’s right. Everybody would receive $1,000 a month just for being alive. This is the best political idea I’ve heard in ages. Joe Biden says it would take away people’s dignity. I’ll take the chance.

Andrew also plans to establish a new cabinet position called the Department of the Attention Economy, to oversee social media. And he is intensely concerned about circumcision. He has yet to release details of his circumcision policy but I for one can’t wait to hear the long and short of it.

Well, enough about the boys. Let’s turn to the women I would be facing. You have to admit there has been a sea change as far as women in politics go. They entered the fray in great numbers, fearless and undaunted, demanding respect and power and changing the hideously outdated “old boys network” that has been American governance for hundreds of years. Yes, folks, it’s a new world out there and about time.

Now remind me—which one is the blonde chick? Crissie or Crystal or something like that. I’m sure she’s a very nice person but she looks just like the woman who worked for Trump who put all the children in cages, so nobody’s going to vote for her. Amy Klobuchar is nowhere near as attractive but I loved her during the Kavanaugh hearings. She says she started off her campaign by raising $17,000 from ex-boyfriends, which sounds to me like an awful lot of ex-boyfriends. Then I heard she throws Diet Coke at her staff when she gets mad and suddenly I was no longer interested. I get enough of that sort of thing right here at Sarasota Magazine.

Which brings us to Pocahontas, aka Elizabeth Warren. The poor man’s Hillary Clinton. I really like her policies about redistributing Jeff Bezos’ wealth directly to me. But I have a problem with her drinking. Remember that interview in her kitchen, when she said, “Just a sec, I’m gonna get me a beer.” Call me socially conservative, but I feel quite strongly that women shouldn’t drink beer. They should drink wine. Beer makes them seem tough. The only woman who drank beer in my family was my Aunt Ceil. And she was tough. She married a truck driver from Indiana and ended up in a trailer park, and I’m afraid the same thing’s going to happen to Elizabeth Warren.

And of course before I start I guess I should get the apologies out of the way. To anyone I ever groped, I am sincerely sorry. It was wrong. It has always been my way of connecting with people but social boundaries have changed. I get it. I particularly would like to apologize to TV weatherman John Scalzi for coming up behind him, putting my hands on his shoulders and smelling his hair. It was awful. Not the hair—it had a tangy aroma of Nioxin Thickening Shampoo baking slightly under the heat of the studio lights. But my actions were presumptuous and just plain wrong. Keep in mind, though—like all politicians, I am evolving, which means desperately flip-flopping from one issue to another till I stumble across something that makes the cut. Like maybe circumcision.

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