Presidential election 2008 

Future Shock: President Kucinich and seven other startling presidential predictions

Remember when you hoped beyond hope that Kenny Parker in second period algebra loved you?Remember when you wanted to scare the crap out of your friends by claiming a nightmare-inducing spirit was in the room? Hoping to relive these fond memories, the City Paper has gathered each of the eight Democratic candidates, in town for the July 23 Citadel debate, to see what the fates have in store. We’ll predict the potential administration of each candidate, while single-handedly scaring the crap out of conservatives praying for an alternative to Rudy McRomney. While it’s generally accepted by all Democrats and some Republicans that things will be less bad, we’re delving deeper into specific issues for each candidate (from NASA diapers for cabinet members to iHealth Care). We’ve even dusted off our old Ouija board for a quick prediction on their potential to reach the big desk, or if they’ll just take home an autographed picture of Martin Sheen.

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Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) | Ouija board says: Very Doubtful
www.kucinich.us

The first thing President Kucinich will do is gloat. Which is okay, because we would too. He’ll get us out of Iraq (super fast) and he’ll repeal the Patriot Act. He’ll pull $65 billion in defense spending (no fancy staplers next year, soldier) and shift that money to “hometown security” initiatives like education, jobs, and health care. Most of that money will go toward early childhood education, with the only downside being more questions about Santa and the tooth fairy — the one pisser about smart kids. But they’ll be replaced with bogeyman stories the kids really will believe about presidential dynasties.

There will be universal health care, but, don’t worry, we’ll still have the commercials about the electric wheelchairs. He’ll also establish the Office of Elder Justice, likely pulling Judge Joe Wapner back to the bench to bring the hammer down on those bingo cheaters — and quite possibly those who abuse, neglect, or exploit the elderly. President Kucinich will reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil and he’ll put resources into biotechnology for the farm sector as well.

To further the technology development, President Kucinich will send NASA on its shortest mission ever — to the planet Earth. With the space administration’s plentiful creations (yes, including those space diapers) we’ll learn how to improve transportation and communication and we’ll find better ways to combat diaper rash.

Three words: “Four more years.”

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Sen. Chris Dodd (Connecticut) | Ouija board says: Outlook Not So Good
www.chrisdodd.com

President Dodd will scoff at third-graders nationwide pleading for him to change the name of his home state to something easier to spell. He’ll be on board until they suggest “something like Texas.” He’ll begin the really long process of cutting greenhouse gases by 80 percent (your kids will enjoy it, but you’ll already be on a respirator at the retirement home or dead — hey, it’s sad, but true). And cars will be required to get 50 miles per gallon by 2017, ensuring that your mother will expect more visits — now that’s terrorism. President Dodd will call for universal health care, early childhood programs, teacher incentives, affordable colleges, and new jobs in safer workplaces.
But the key will be restoring the country’s role as a respected world leader, while making a call for a new American patriotism. Dodd will make community service a cabinet position, increase the numbers in the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps (I hear the new Paris is looking for a service opportunity). Employers will be encouraged to provide paid time off for community service, to which Paris will ask, “What’s an employer?” And he’ll give old people $1,000 to learn how to work a computer, or to give to their grandkids to learn how to build one (or how to fix their Wii).

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Gov. Bill Richardson (New Mexico) | Ouija board says: Cannot Predict Now
www.richardsonforpresident.com

To protect (save? revive? resurrect?) the environment, President Richardson will cut oil demand in half by 2020 (oh, the “clear vision” slogans we’re going to have that year). He’ll push to have the 100 mpg car introduced in the marketplace, but with every reasonably attractive car name gone, Richardson is left with “The.” And any marketing professional will tell you that it’s hard to market “The.” Fortunately, there are other initiatives, including new energy efficiencies, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a search for new energy sources (like Robin Williams on a hamster wheel).

While many can talk the talk, Richardson will use his experience in foreign diplomacy to walk to the walk. He’ll pull the troops out within six months of de-authorizing the war, with no man left behind (gosh, that phrase is just ruined now). Richardson will work to bring the Iraqi nation and the Middle East community together, while redeploying our troops where they’re needed: home.

President Richardson will also take on health care, as he implements affordable coverage that people can take with them when they get a better offer and leave their job, or when they get busted bilking their employer out of $10 million in phony investments and their job leaves them. You know, whatever.

He’ll create jobs by offering a tax rebate to businesses that add workers and he’ll offer tax credits for new businesses in emerging technologies or low-income areas. President Richardson will also boost education with early childhood programs, redesigned high schools, and more aid for college tuition. He’ll also create 250 new scientific academies by 2010, boosting the number of scientists, as well as the number of players on Worlds of Warcraft. Coincidence? I think not.

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Former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) | Ouija board says: My Sources Say No
www.gravel2008.us

President Gravel’s first official action as president will be to take our Ouija board and throw it into a river. Next on the agenda: an immediate withdraw from Iraq, peace talks with Iran, and, God willing, maybe a little mediation between my neighbors who can’t agree on who should trim that tree on the property line. He’ll impose a fair tax, forcing some to wonder if he’s truly a Democrat. That is, until he creates the National Initiative for Democracy (see, we’re cool, it’s got “democracy” in the title). The initiative will allow every American to vote on a host of issues currently left to legislators. For the best voter turnout possible, folks will be using the American Idol voting lines, with the results … after the break. President Gravel will work to reduce America’s “carbon footprint” (and there’s only one — apparently, we’re hopping) and he’ll create a universal health care voucher program. He’ll also tweak NAFTA, so Mexican workers can “remain in their motherland.” President Gravel will support gay rights, assistance to veterans, and programs to reform prisoners. And he’ll establish a Social Security Trust Fund and scoff at suggestions that Social Security was supposed to be a trust fund in the first place.

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Sen. Joe Biden (Delaware) | Ouija board says: Don’t Count On It
www.joebiden.com

The first thing President Biden will do, after decades of service in the Congress, is yell, “Finally, a new office!” Next, he’ll do what he’s been calling for since last summer: dividing Iraq into three regions with a limited central government. The regions will share oil revenues, cups of sugar, and that latest Kelly Clarkson album (yes, they get a whiff of iTunes and become a lawless country of music pirates). Neighbors will be approached for their music collections — oh, and support. President Biden will pull most troops out but keep a “residual” force nearby (apparently residue is only bad in bathrooms and on countertops). Meanwhile, Biden will be returning America’s attention to other international crises like Afghanistan and Darfur.

He’ll look for energy alternatives to foreign oil, cut health care costs, and expand aid for college students. High school students will also get aid for college by participating in public service programs, though it won’t include studies on smoking dope or donating plasma for cash, so their interest will dry up in the college years. He’ll also increase teacher pay and slim down classroom sizes.

But the big push will be in homeland security, with an extra $10 million to screen every cargo container (we’ll pat down the Barbie dolls if we need to — those skinny waists just scream “crack whore”). The money will also pay to better protect chemical facilities and beef up first responders, FBI agents, local police forces, and local counter-terrorism units. And, no, the new smoking bans aren’t terrorism — it just feels that way.

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Former Sen. John Edwards (North Carolina) | Ouija board says: Ask Again Later
www.johnedwards.com

Unlike, say, Clinton or Obama, President Edwards will certainly not be the first white guy to be president, but he’ll be doing it with a much better haircut. Edwards will be getting those boys out of Iraq, but this isn’t a one-trick presidency. Another focus will be on eliminating poverty — a proposal so grand, eight years just won’t do. No, not even his successor, or the white guy after his successor will see the goal accomplished. Like fine wine or bad soda, this is going to take some time. But the groundwork will begin with President Edwards creating a million temporary jobs for those who can’t find work (no, not you, Thomas Ravenel). He’ll increase minimum wage and help folks open bank accounts and buy homes. Students willing to work part-time during their first year of college will get their tuition paid and second-chance schools will be established for dropouts.
This chef is going to have his hand in a few other pots. Everybody will get health care for less, with regional “Health Care Markets,” which will certainly be different than the kitschy, tourist trap one thinks of when the word “market” comes to mind in Charleston. President Edwards will also be taking on the environment, with caps on emissions and fees for polluters. He’ll also lead the world toward a New Global Climate Change Treaty that some backwards American president after him will end up throwing in the garbage. Renewable energy and new technologies will also flourish. If you don’t know what these are, it’s understandable. It’s been six years, after all. President Edwards will also create a GreenCorps of idealistic young Americans, but comic book geeks will mock the name for its similarity to the Green Lantern Corps. Why don’t you
just name it Green Ligers. Gosh.

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Sen. Barack Obama (Illinois) | Ouija board says: Outlook Good
www.barackobama.com

The first black president (no, Bill Clinton wasn’t black), President Obama will wrap his arms around the little guy. Iraq, immigration, and the environment will all be priorities in the administration. But this president will focus on a host of roadside initiatives, including job programs for ex-cons and the disaffected youth, with particular attention to technology and environmental jobs where learned skills are both essential and rewarded, and don’t include devising a beer bong helmet or a prison-yard shank. He’ll increase tax credits and raise wages for those folks not shopping for luxury yachts or second homes. He’ll support fathers (and make sure fathers support their kids), as well as expand home visits by nurses to all low-income, first-time mothers.
He’ll put money toward early childhood education and federal student loan programs. He’ll also dole out money to 20 school districts with innovative education models to foster new ideas, like, you know, learning and stuff. President Obama will also launch housing programs, including an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop mixed-income neighborhoods (i.e.: those places without a front gate or the words “South of Broad” in their general description).
Like most of his Democratic opponents, universal health care will be a hallmark of Obama’s campaign. The program will be comprehensive and portable (much like the iPhone) and affordable (nothing like the iPhone). He’ll also encourage local governments to assess the health impacts of development projects, looking far beyond the calorie intake at a new Cold Stone Creamery to broader health concerns that come from a new highway or shopping mall.

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Sen. Hillary Clinton (New York) | Ouija board says: Signs Point to Yes
www.hillaryclinton.com

The first woman in the oval office, President Clinton will make a deliberate, though reasoned, bolt for the door in Iraq. She’ll withdraw troops within the first two months of her presidency. But for those keeping pace, it’s a shuffle out of Iraq, not a dash. Clinton will direct aid to the Iraqi people and not the government, and she’ll convene a regional summit to get neighbors in lock-step with stabilization efforts, with a prominent role for the United Nations.

Considering America an “innovation superpower,” President Hillary Clinton will “renew the nation’s commitment to research,” establishing a $50 billion energy research fund that would include tax incentives for those homes or businesses where people turn off the lights when leaving a room or live by the “if it’s yellow” motto (or quite possibly some grander gestures of energy efficiency). She’ll increase spending on basic research by $14 billion. Clinton will also boost support for e-science and multidisciplinary research in hopes of creating a Star Trek teleporter, or at least one of those machines that creates food out of thin air. Most importantly, she’ll reverse the perception that science ended when Eve beamed Adam in the head with an apple.

Other initiatives will include making federal buildings carbon neutral, raising teacher pay, growing early childhood programs, and eliminating inefficiencies in health care. She’ll attempt to study the impact of electronic media on child development (Grand Borrowing Auto, anyone?) and the establishment of a Public Service Academy that would provide a four-year, federally subsidized college education for those willing to commit to five years in public service after graduation, obviously looking to make an honest man out of … well, just about every politician.


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