think tank

His candidacy continues with minor staff changes

Because this column appears in a newspaper, there is no worry that I will stumble into any trouble with the FCC, as my opponents cannot demand equal time or some other crap. That said, I want to ensure my loyal supporters that there is no truth to the rumor that my, shall we say, less than stellar showing in the primaries is causing me to end my campaign.

I will admit that since then, my candidacy may have lost some of its vim and vigor when Steven Colbert so pusillanimously pulled out in fear of what appeared to be the Think Tank juggernaut. I put that down to the winter weather, and not a flaw in modeling my campaign after President Warren G. Harding's run. He never left the porch either, and it took him to the White House.

But seeing as Tuesday was the primary in my home state of Maryland (official motto: We got crabs, hon), I thought we needed a boost, so I have announced a change in my campaign staff. I am replacing my dog Ripken (official motto: I've got Cal's eyes) with my cat Max (official motto: Motto? I don't need no stinkin' motto.)

Now, there are those among you who believe that replacing a dog with eyes like Cal Ripken's may be a mistake in Maryland, where the triumvirate of Johnny Unitas, Ripken and Edgar Allen Poe rules. To you doubting Thomases, I say that tough choices must be made, and I will make them. The buck stops here, unless I can pass it to somebody else.

My fellow Americans, change was needed. I do not shrink from a challenge, unless it's really, really hard. Then, shrink I must. Shirk I will. Slack we can.

Having a dog as my top campaign adviser might have been a mistake. For all his good qualities, he is, after all, a yes man. He worked cheap, though. Dog biscuits do not cost much, but since I had to lend my campaign five bucks, I thought it should get someone even cheaper.

I knew I needed an independent thinker, and who's more independent than a cat? I also knew that I needed someone with a killer instinct. Judging by the parade of bird, mouse and squirrel carcasses left on the front porch, I got just that.

To those out there that contend, unjustly, that I am just rearranging the deck chairs on my own personal Titanic, I want to say that these changes are never easy. They are more than cosmetic, for I have decided to do something drastic and leave the front porch.

Yes, supporters, seeing as the elm tree in my front yard has succumbed to the blight, I will, on occasion, move there. Like the lesser candidates, I, too, will go out on the stump when my campaign manager makes the porch unlivable due to the decomposing, half-eaten animal bodies.

As a candidate, I would like to pose this question: Why are we on a first-name basis with the progressive candidates — Barack, Hillary and Brooks — while the conservative candidates are all strictly last-name: McCain and Huckabee? And what is a Huckabee? Is it a do bee, or a don't bee?

While these are burning questions for voters that will be answered in due time, I want to get back to my campaign.

Changes in personnel aren't the only moves I am making. After long, and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to pimp out my kids.

If other candidates can send their kids out to woo superdelegates, then why can't I? Besides, they are way cuter. At least that's what Max thinks.