Putting skeletons aside, he declares his candidacy


WASHINGTON -- In my effort to remain au courant, and after hours of deliberation, I have decided that the thing for me to do is announce the formation of my Presidential Exploratory Committee. It just seems like the thing to do this month here in the Capital of the Free World is to say whether you're in or you're out.

Clinton (womanly) in. Edwards (lawyerfully) in. Kerry (tearfully) out. Brownback (prayerfully) in. Obama (baritonally) in. McCain (heroically) in. Boliek (hopelessly) in.

I was moved to this momentous decision for two reasons. Reason One: I could use the cash. Reason Two: See Reason One.

People, some of whom actually vote, often ask me why I chose journalism over elective office, and for years I've been forced to tell the voters that my shady past has kept me from seeking office both high and low. You see, my fellow Americans, there is no skeleton in my closet. There is a graveyard.

But Senator Obama has inspired me. The story of his past, which he lays out in his book "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," inspired me to leave the sidelines. You see, according to the Illinois lawmaker himself, he did all the things we all did "back then." With his admission that he enjoyed the long, never-ending party that made up the lost decade that ran roughly from the late '70s to the late '90s (I told you it was a long decade), I've decided to throw my hat into the ring.

I just found out that movie moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg have invited their Hollywood peers to join them at a Feb. 20 fundraiser the three are throwing for Obama.

For $2,300 per person and $4,600 a couple, they can meet the candidate at a reception at the Beverly Hilton. Those who reportedly commit to raising $46,000 for the evening will be invited to a private dinner at Geffen's Malibu home.

Senator Clinton has also received financial support from all three moguls in the past. Their company, DreamWorks SKG, has reportedly contributed $47,000 to Clinton since her 2000 New York Senate campaign.

There are estimates that all of the candidates combined could spend over $1 billion in the race for the White House this election season.

Once I heard that, I thought: "I gotta get me some of that." I mean, since Jack Valenti retired, there's no one inside the Beltway that says "Hollywood" more than me.

I figure that between the Hollywood bashing that Senator Brownback and the other candidates will do between now and the election, it'll pay to have one true blue entertainment industry suck-up. For the kind of money the entertainment industry -- and all the other industries out there, for that matter -- will throw around, I can suck it up with the best of them.

So, my fellow Americans, let me tell you where I stand. Well, frankly, I don't stand much. That would require too much work.

Now, I realize that I am the definition of a "dark-horse" candidate. (I've often wondered what a "light-horse" candidate looks like.) I know my candidacy is a long shot, but I have a couple of things going for me:

One: Like John Winger and Russell Ziskey, I've never been convicted of a felony.

And two: I have longer hair than all the candidates combined. It's even longer than Clinton's.

(Federal Election Commission disclaimer: My name is Brooks Boliek and I, or someone I know, approved the preceding message.)