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Berger drops out of race for the American presidency

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As my readers are aware, I have been running for the United States presidency since fall 2007 with no success.

Q. How can you tell when a politician is lying? A. When you see his lips moving.

I tried everything this side of Hillary to secure the nomination. I crashed political debates and, not politely, was catapulted out. I circulated my impeccable and pristine qualifications to all who would listen, but no one listened. I e-mailed, texted, telephoned and sent priority letters to every presidential wannabe and only a 2004 John Kerry button was sent to me.

I tried every imaginable — and unimaginable — venture to gain the nomination from either party, but I was rejected, rebuffed, repudiated, denied and — in the event you have not noticed — unceremoniously vetoed.

"In America, any boy may become president, and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes." — Adlai Stevenson.

Then an idea struck me. Why don't I court the ethnic and racial voters directly? My effervescent personality and bright smile will wow them and carry me to the White House.

But the man who said, "Many laid plans of mice and men often go awry" — or something like that — certainly knew politics. My three years of college Spanish did not help with Hispanic voters. Neither did an Italian accent, a Jewish inflection nor an Irish brogue persuade these ethnic constituents to consider me.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the [political] intelligence of the American public." — H.L. Mencken.

I shouted out my car window that if I heard my rabbi preach anti-American hatred, such as favoring Jewish delicatessens over Italian or German ones, or choosing the Jets over the Giants, I would quit his synagogue immediately. This attempt fell on deaf ears.

I wore a U.S. flag pin on my lapel to show my true patriotism. Zilch.

I stated I would make trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and Disneyland to assess the situation in areas critical to American national security. Nope.

And then I would consult with some of our closest allies — Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry — about the common challenges we face. Nada.

"I discovered that being a president is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep riding or be swallowed up." — Harry S. Truman.

Then I delved into matters affecting the common American, such as Hillary's pant suits, John Edwards' hairdo, Michelle Obama's weight-loss diet, John McCain's elixir on graceful aging and the price of Mallomars.

So, if one is handed a lemon, what should one do? Make lemonade!

There will be several presidential debates this fall between 6-foot-1-inch Obama and 5-foot-9-inch McCain and discussions are being held for both to be seated to neutralize Obama's height advantage. To solve this problem, I suggest Obama wear flats and McCain stilettos.

Since I failed as a presidential candidate, I then tried to get a vice-presidential nibble from one of the presumptive candidates. I offered myself, a hard-core national security type, to Barack Obama to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience. I threw myself at John McCain, who would benefit immeasurably from a younger and sprightly running mate, to compensate for his age.

I even added my reputation as a financial wizard to help them steer America out of what could become a serious economic disaster.

"Trying to make the presidency work these days is like trying to sew buttons on a custard pie." — James David Barber.

I was desperate. I became a political freelancer and used the Web to bolster my chances for a veep spot. I sent appropriate slogans — "Nobama" to McCain, "Big Mac is a Hack" to Obama — and Osama bin Laden contacted me. Oh, Keith Olbermann, where is thy sting?

I hope the better man wins this election because, as a wise Chinese philosopher once said, "When a small man casts a long shadow [on the presidency], you know the sun is setting."

Since I have been rejected by the politicos and people, I hereby renounce my commitment to seek the presidency or vice presidency. I will instead return to my "Berger's Burg" desk. I pledge no more politicking forever — that is, until the next presidential election.

Readers, since you cannot pick me, choose your next president as if your child's life rested on your decision ... because it does.

Contact Alex Berger at news@timesledger.com.

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