If Bloomberg can run, then so can I | AspenTimes.com

If Bloomberg can run, then so can I

Much to the surprise of the voters and pundits who thought the slate of candidates was a fait accompli, it was revealed earlier this week that Michael Bloomberg is still considering jumping into the race to become the 44th president of the United States.According to information obtained by the Associated Press, over the past few months the billionaire mayor of New York has quietly been polling and conducting a voter analysis across the country and plans to use the data to decide whether to launch an independent presidential bid.Which has got me thinking. If its not too late for Bloomberg to throw his hat into the ring, then its not too late for me. Im turning 35 in a few months, which is the minimum age requirement for the Leader of the Free World job. Ive never really imagined holding political office, but Im not really taken with any of the candidates, so maybe its my destiny to mount my own campaign. I might not have access to the same sort of sophisticated canvassing methods as Bloomberg. But I have my husband, my parents, my mother-in-law, my sister and her husband, and my great Aunt Sally, who, between the seven of them, know pretty much everything (just ask them). And not one of them has ever failed to soft-pedal any piece of information delivered to me (unless you count my husband answering the Do I look fat? question). I trust theyll be honest about my Oval Office chances (including the slight potential for an impeachment hearing if it ever comes to light that I got caught cheating on my social studies homework in eighth grade, although in all fairness, a friend copied my homework, not the other way around).Consulting my family would be a necessity anyway, because if Im elected itll be life-changing for all of us. What, with the constant assassination threats, late-night talk show hosts poking fun at my inevitable verbal gaffes and the Secret Service agents having to taste the food at our Passover Seders (just what my mom needs one more person commenting on the texture of her matzo balls). Everyone will have to put on a brave face.Surely though, my mom will be all for it if Giorgio Armani volunteers to personally design her gowns for my inaugural galas. I dont foresee my dad having any problems so long as my State of the Union address never interferes with televised Penn State games. And while Im not sure my husband will be thrilled at the prospect of being whatever it is theyll call the male first lady, I have a feeling that the combination of having Air Force One at his disposal and being able to watch first-run movies in his flannel pajamas with unlimited popcorn service in the private presidential screening room just might win over any hint of a fragile ego. The thing is that the American people have made it abundantly clear theyre looking for a leader with experience. And it just happens to be a little-known fact that Ive actually run for president before. I was a candidate during the 1984 presidential election, running for president of the sixth-grade classes from my school and another one in the district. My friend Moira was my running mate, so we ran on an M&M platform. Although we breezed through the primaries and polled well in the weeks leading up to Election Day, I lost my place in my note cards while giving a speech during the final debate and stuttered for most of my two-minute closing statement. As a result, M&M came in third out of four teams. Im not saying the election was rigged, but 24 years later I can say the winning team was full of it by promising hot dogs for lunch every Friday. (Hot dogs are always served on Wednesdays. Friday is Pizza Day.) At least I have other qualifications. It took some time, but my sister and I finally negotiated a settlement after years of war and strife. (But that wont really matter anyway, since apparently President Bush will create peace in the Middle East before he leaves office.)When I reconcile my credit card statements in Quicken, I never rest until every penny is accounted for. Bring on the federal budget.And I dont want to brag, but I do share some of the same traits that have made Mayor Bloomberg so likable in New York. Or, at least one. He rides the subway to work everyday and when I lived in New York, I did, too (never mind that he does it to make a statement that hes a regular guy, and I did it because my bank statement was always irregular and subways are significantly cheaper than cabs).Voters this week proved tears easily sway them, and I can trigger a sob storm like Im watching Debra Wingers death scene in Terms of Endearment. If its change youre looking for, I can stop crying on a dime. And, Im flexible. If my team of advisors doesnt think I have a shot at the top job, I would be willing to consider being Bloombergs vice president. Just as long as I get use of his motorcade while hes on the subway.E-mail questions or comments to meredithccarroll@hotmail.com.

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