Have you ever felt invisible? I’m running for vice-president
but you’d never know it. Nobody is paying the slightest attention to me. I may
as well be a beige sofa.
Is it just me? Perhaps I’d feel better if I knew other
people ever felt this way. It’s so depressing when I all alone beweep my
outcast state. Especially since in my current situation I should be singing
hymns at heaven’s gate.
Unfortunately, when people hear my name about the only thing
they think of is that I was once accused of plagiarism. People have got to know
whether or not their candidate is a plagiarist. Well, I’m not a plagiarist.
It’s just that I’m not a naturally gifted writer or speaker. The truth is – and
if you quote me I’ll deny I ever said it – I’m a pretty bland guy.
I wish I could get over the feeling that every time I say
good morning someone reaches for Bartlett’s.
It’s just that when I have to use my own words I tend to put my foot in my
mouth. Here’s an example. Just the other day I said I thought the woman who
lost the primary to my running-mate would actually have been a better pick for
vice-president than I. I was being gallant. Folks expect that of a senator from
a former slave state. I didn’t really mean it. But my people said all I did was
call attention to the fact that I’m second-rate. (Unfortunately I’m quoting
My running mate is the first black candidate for president. He’s
very attractive, articulate and clean. People hang on his every word. His
opponent is frankly the most soporific speaker I’ve ever heard. But again - he’s
a war hero, so they hang on everything he says. Not to denigrate (can I still
say that?) his service to our country, but thirty-five years in the Senate is a
service beyond all recompense that weighs so heavy that it almost gives
offense. But who ever talks about that?
And - just my luck - my opponent is a woman. A good-looking
woman, although she isn’t drop-dead gorgeous like my wife. People follow her
around like Mary’s little lamb. No one ever follows me. I’m not the finest
character that ever lived. But I’m a human being. So attention must be paid.
I think the only time people ever really look at me is when
they talk about my hair. I have hair plugs. I think they look great but many
people think there’s no time for a man to recover his hair that grows bald by
nature. Well, I don’t care what they think. I
I’m beginning to feel that I’ve spent my whole life waiting
for recognition that will never come. I mean, the Senate is OK, but I’m kind of
sick of it. I want something more. And it’s within my reach if I can just get
people’s attention. But how do I do that?
I’m The One Who’s
You have my sympathy. A crypto-candidacy can’t be very good
for the ego. To paraphrase Kermit (yes, one should even give attribution to a
frog) it’s hard being drab.
Nowadays it doesn’t pay to be deficient in DUI convictions
or never to have snorted cocaine. Ordinarily having a brother and a son under
indictment for illegal lobbying activities might get a senator some ink. But unfortunately
you’re competing for news time against an opponent whose family seems to live
within the law.
Explaining that you were for the war before you were against
it, or against it before you were for it, or that the surge worked before it didn’t
has all the resonance of a chalk-filled sock hitting the lid of a garbage can. It’s
time to grab the public imagination by the shoulders. Be seen emerging from a hotel
room between two and three in the morning. Adopt a wider stance in the Gents. Go
mush some huskies. Shoot a moose. Try a new shade of lipstick.
If none of that turns you on, see if you can’t make the
folks in fly-over land understand what this country would gain from a
presidential tea party for the madman of Tehran
and the kook of Caracas.
Explain to Joe Sixpack how raising his boss’ taxes will put braces on his kids’
teeth. Show him that funding other people’s health care and college tuition is
way more fun than selfishly paying only for his own. Warble about hope and
change. The more you sound like your running mate, the likelier it is that some
of his fairy dust will rub off on you.
In the meantime, don’t let life in the shadows get you down.
Remember - they also serve who only stand and wait.
Good luck and God bless.