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Perot -- I'll Run Again if I Really Have To

Column by Bill Jackson

billionaire philanthropist

Ross Perot? ROSS PEROT? He's gotta be kidding.

This guy went on TV yesterday to announce that he'd heard from volunteers in all 50 states telling him to run for president, and so he's going to, finally, run. Ever since I heard, I've been doing some thinking.

First of all, let's get a few things straight. The media reports that Perot has "returned" to the presidential race are false. He never put his butt on the line in the first place.

And now Mr. Take Charge has decided to run, finally, only because his underlings told him it's a good idea, and that the other two candidates aren't good enough. Here's a guy whose daily choice of tie color probably causes a Dow Jones fluctuation of 300 points, and he needs to ask 50 random volunteers what he should do. Makes me feel pretty secure. Imagine when Ross goes to McDonald's:

McDonald's Worker: May I help you?

Perot: Well, now, I've thought about having the Filet o' Fish. Or the Big Mac.

McDonald's Worker, blankly: May I help you?

Perot: You just keep your media bias out of this here decision. You sir, Mr. Manager, do you feel I should have the fish or the burger?

Manager: Whatever you want, sir. You're the customer.

Perot: Not that I particularly want the fish, you see. I'll take the fish, I'll take the burger, whatever you want. I'm your servant.

Manager: Get out of here, Dumbo, before I call the cops.

Perot: I just have to go make some phone calls to McDonald's managers in all 50 states, then I'll be back to let you know.

Of course, it's hard to believe it took Perot this long to find 50 underlings who would tell him he's great and he should run. Here's a guy with billions of dollars. Give me even a single billion and I'll find 50 schmucks in various states to support me for president in, oh, 15 minutes, tops. It scares me that it took Perot so long.

If Perot called to ask me if he should run, even the purely imaginary fantasy that he would say, "Y'know boy, what the heck, lemme pay off your college loans and reimburse you for the rest of that there tuition," would so possess me that I'd be willing to snuggle up to him and whisper sweet nothings into his ear, calling him whatever he wants me to call him. "Tell me your fantasy, tall, dark and decisive," I would say, as I urged him to run for president and save the American people from reasonable, sane, presidential candidates, as well as George Bush.

Of course, polls say that as much as 10 percent of the American electorate would vote for Perot. Which reminds me: I'd like to apologize publicly for my recent habit of going around campus and running up to every 10th person I see, screaming, "WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WIT* YOU?"

But if I need to, I could learn to live in Perot's America. After attending rallies sponsored by the newly renamed National Association for the Advancement of You People, I would go home and turn up the viewscreen (you can't really turn it off in the first place, you know) to watch the stockholder's meeting (formerly: Congress) from Washington. I could learn to like it.

Seriously, Perot just isn't that scary. Goofy, sure, but not scary. Think about it: He's had all this trouble deciding whether he wants to lead a movement in which he wants to be the strong, decisive candidate who can lead this country out of its economic problems. All of our choices should be so easy.