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ROGER ROSENBLATT: Just when I thought I’d gotten over the terrors of last year’s Halloween, I had a dream about this year’s Halloween.
The dream was about presidential campaign 2000, a year away to be sure, but in full swing already. To my door came trick-or-treaters, each claiming to be candidate for President of the United States. Standing in my doorway, wearing no Halloween costumes but their normal outfits, was a wholly new group of candidates, each explaining why he or she would make a great American President. They were Jesse Ventura, Warren Beatty, Cybill Shepherd, Donald Trump, and Mr. Ed.
Of these folks, only Mr. Ed has not declared himself to be a candidate or possible candidate. But given the qualifications of the others, there is no reason that America could not have a draft horse in the race. Besides, I told you: This was a dream.
MR. ED: Hello. I’m Mr. Ed.
ROGER ROSENBLATT: I was scared, all right– not because I had anything in particular against any of these future Presidents. It simply was difficult to understand their stated positions on any of the issues. Jesse Ventura, for instance, began by telling me that religious people were weak- minded, then said that being weak-minded was good. And just when I started to point out a logical inconsistency there, he reacted very strangely. Warren Beatty seemed rational enough at first, but then he threw himself into the rap song from “Bulworth.”
WARREN BEATTY: Yo Bank of America this table over here — Wells Fargo and Citibank you’re really very dear.
ROGER ROSENBLATT: And immediately switched over to “Reds,” where he was singing the communists’ anthem “The Internationale”… (Assembly singing) a political blunder, if you ask me. The Donald was especially difficult to comprehend. Every time he explained why he would make the best President since Abraham Lincoln, he started talking about how rich he was and how he was the best real estate mogul New York had ever seen.
DONALD TRUMP: The city’s the hottest city, and I’m the biggest developer in the hottest city in the world right now.
ROGER ROSENBLATT: Cybill Shepherd said nothing, really, but she is a blonde. Mr. Ed made the most horse sense, mainly because he seemed to be the only candidate who knew who he was.
MR. ED SONG: A horse is a horse of course, of course no-one can talk to a horse of course that is, of course unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.
ROGER ROSENBLATT: Halloween is a holiday when we are supposed to drive away our monsters, but in America, we seem to attract them. Last year, you remember, we had the Monica group showing up at the national front door. Tricking and treating were Monica herself, and Linda, and Lucien, and Monica’s lawyer, William, and all the other lawyers, loud and soft, and other persons and spokespersons, and the many congressmen and women who took one side or another, and all the talk show hosts on cable. Knock, knock, knock.
Rant, rant, rant. It was all quite frightening, but nothing compared to a crowd of celebrities threatening to lead the free world. In my dream, I thought that all the trick-or-treaters had gone away, and I began to relax. But then more celebrities came, knocking, knocking, knocking.
There was Charles Barkley in shorts, who said that he wanted to be governor of Alabama. I asked him what he could do as a politician the Bill Bradley couldn’t. Then came Jerry Springer, who wanted to be a U.S. Senator. “How would you keep the peace?” I asked him. The next guy was knocking so loudly, I thought the door would cave in. He said he wanted to be governor of California.
“Okay,” I said, “how would you settle disputes?” (Gunshots) I was at the end of my tether. After Arnold left, I sat there trembling. I began to long for a qualified candidate, someone of high intelligence, impeccable character, who has the best interests of the country at heart, and is cute as a button besides. The night was howling. The moon was full. There was one more knocking at the door. I opened it.
And there, at last, was the candidate of my dreams — Roger Rosenblatt.