Berger’s Burg: Columnist mulls a run for presidential office

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To hunt, fish, drive a car or own a dog, you need a license. But anyone who wants to can run for president.

Every outgoing president leaves every incoming president three envelopes on his desk. During the first year, when the going is rough, the new president should open the first envelope. The message reads, “Blame the guy who was in the office before you.” If things are still difficult the second year, he should open the second envelope, “Blame Congress.” At the end of the third year, when he is battered and bloody, he should open the third envelope, “Prepare three envelopes!”

Readers, I have a fast-breaking story for you. I, Alex Berger, wannabe the president of these Yoo-nited States of America. And so, I wannabe added to the list of other wannabes who also wannabe president. Now don’t get me wrong. I like the current president and I also like the Democrats and Independents. My new party will be the Independent Demopublican-Republicrats.

I would like to toss my hat into the ring because I do not like the fierce bickering among the three parties that is splitting our country asunder. I feel it is my patriotic duty to be a candidate representing all three political parties.

Do not think for one minute that I am not qualified for the job. I was brought up in the world of politics and politicians. My mother was a county committeewoman for many years and my late, great, grand uncle (twice removed) had been a notary public.

My sharp acumen taught me many political lessons, such as candidates lose elections because nobody knows what they have done. I will win for the same reason. Magicians and politicians are very similar — they both try to fool the public. But when a magician does it, taxes don’t go up; a politician starts to behave not because he saw the light, but because he starts to feel the heat.

If you fool people to get their money, it is fraud. If you fool people to get their votes, it is politics. The only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right. Not that it matters, but if a guy is leading in the polls, you know he is the one taking the poll.

You rarely see a thin politician; this is because of the words they have to eat. I know that not all fairy tales begin with “Once upon a time.” Today, most of them begin with “If I am elected. …” A politician is a man who approaches every question with an open mouth.

Furthermore, the most important thing in campaigning is sincerity, whether you mean it or not; during an election, you don’t have to fool all the people all the time, just 51 percent of them, and I do not believe in political jokes. Too many of them keep getting elected.

I recently attended one of the candidates’ unending debates. With so many candidates in the race, Osama bin Laden could mix among them and never be found. I was a little late so I missed the first 26 promises. All the candidates looked ready and willing. But none seemed to be able.

The first candidate was so dull, there was a rumor he had a charisma bypass. The second said, “To err is human, but to blame it on the other guy is politics.” The third scolded the fourth candidate for running his campaign deeply into debt in the hopes that he would have a chance to do the same for the entire country.

There are two things I did not like about the fifth candidate — his two faces. The sixth put his best foot forward — as soon as he was able to get it out of his mouth.

The seventh shouted, “If you go to the polls and elect me, all your troubles may not be over, but mine will. The eighth announced that he is perfectly familiar with all the questions of the day. The trouble is, he doesn’t know the answers.

The ninth wears three hats, one on top of another. The first is to cover his head, the second is to be tossed in the presidential ring and the third is to talk through. The 10th said, “The others have been stealing you blind for several years. Give me a chance.” The 11th stated, “I was born poor and honest, but I have managed to overcome both difficulties.”

The 12th recommended that all illegal immigrants become American citizens. Now they can stop hiding from immigration agents and start hiding from IRS agents. And the 13th suggested, “On foreign policy, my dealings are an open book — a checkbook.”

Wow! There are so many candidates in the race, there may not be enough promises to go around. What would happen if everyone believed what every candidate said about one another and nobody won?

I wished I were in that debate. I would stand up firmly and remember my cardinal rule: Be sincere, be brief and be seated. If I were asked whether powerful interests controlled me I would respond, “Leave Gloria out of this.”

So if I ran for president and were elected, I would stand on my record — that way nobody can see it. I would dodge each and every issue in an honest and straight-forward manner. But most importantly, I would give the country plenty of laughs. In fact, I would be known as the laughing stock of the White House.

But, to run or not to run? Ah, dear readers, that is the amusing, musing question. My decision will be hastened if I get an outpouring of support from the grassroots, you readers. So drop me a line and make your vote count. All those in favor should write: “Yes, you would make a great president.” Those who are not should write: “No, you could not run for dog catcher.” I await your responses breathlessly.

(Mulling columns will continue periodically until all the votes are counted.)

Reach columnist Alex Berger by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, ext. 140.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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