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Berger’s Burg: Berger’s road to 2008 hits presidential bumps

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A few months back, I announced my candidacy for the presidency of these U.S. of A. I was off and running as soon as I laced my shoes and threw my computer into the ring.I immediately took steps to form my own political structure - the "Follow Berger to the White House" party - and waited for followers to follow me. Guess what? Nobody followed me, except my barber, a nudist, a Giants fan, Gloria and 4 grandchildren.I hate political jokes. They always get elected. I tried to become a middle-of-the-roader (acute ultra-liberal AND a severe-extreme conservative), but this ploy failed. I learned that a middle-of-the-roader gets it from both sides. So I again put my political savvy into high gear and came up with two sure-fire, fail-safe plans to garner the nomination.I chose to run for president because it is inside work and I wouldn't have to do any heavy lifting.Firstly, I would follow Hillary and Rudy around the circuit with a barrel. If one or the other fell from the platform during an animated speech, I would catch him or her in the barrel, permitting them to continue speaking uninterrupted. Then, one or the other would certainly swear allegiance to me and withdraw from the race and recommend me as their replacement. Counting today (its 4:30 p.m.), neither has fallen, so I guess it is time to throw the darn barrel away.What would happen if everybody believed what the candidates said about one another and nobody won?My second fail-safe plan was to kidnap Hillary's pet falcon or Rudy's Siamese fighting fish and hold them for ransom. My price for their release would be to withdraw from the race and I would step in. But I never knew that kidnapping a pet was a federal offense and, if convicted, I'd be barred from running for president. I was now becoming desperate. I surmised that I would have to build my own independent political structure. My first order of business was to hire a political consultant. I attempted to get Rosie O'Donnell, but she was too busy trying to get back on "The View." Next, I went for Ann Coulter, but she too was too busy trying to get on "The View," also. I then dared the top candidates to debate me whenever, and wherever, even by e-mail, but the poltroons pleaded "computer-illiteracy." Cowards!Now, I was becoming atrabilious (isn't that word presidential?). I simply had to make my persona more recognizable. So, I began to smile at and shake hands with everyone in sight, even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom I unintentionally bumped into outside of Columbia University. When I discovered who he was, I washed my hands with penicillin. But I continued pressing more flesh than a thousand exercising machines. End result: nothing!De­sperately, I proceeded to make live appearances at many diverse organizations, such as the "End Is Near" group. "No need for our support," they said, "since your end is near politically," as they threw me out. At the Vegetarians' tte-ˆ-tte, I sponsored a 99-cents-a-plate vegetarian dinner, but, because my name is Berger (as in meat), they showed me the door. (I should have told them that my middle name was Brussel-Sprout.) Another rejection. But being the dogged individual that I am, I doggedly pressed onward.At the bungee-jumping coffee klatch, I was thrown out the window with a long bungee attached to my feet. Addressing a group of Queens senior citizens, I said, "Social Security checks are nothing but month-to-month resuscitation." They promptly tore up my Berger's Burg column. Speaking to members of Alcohol Anonymous, I bantered, "All you problem drinkers better stop drinking or else you won't remember what you are trying to forget." They got up and left after downing two "for the road." With so many rebuffs, rejections and heave-hos, and continued pressure from Clinton's war machine and Giuliani's juggernaut, I decided that, effective immediately, your humble columnist, who patriotically entered the presidential race solely to give my dissatisfied electorate another choice, will drop out of the race forthwith, henceforth, and e pluribus unum. I originally embarked on this journey as an optimist, but, alas and alack, Dame Fortune refused to hold my hand, and left me a broken soul. And so, this is the final curtain. Please, constituents, don't weep for me. I tried. It will be great to know that in 2009, I will not be responsible for what goes on in Washington.Look. I see my grandchildren crying. "Gramps, It's third-and-10 for you," they moan, "Don't punt. Throw for 12, instead." Um? "Kids, dry your tears, Yes, I will stay in the game and throw for a touchdown." "Go, Alex!" "Go! Go! Go!"

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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