What it takes to be president

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., has announced he’s running for president. I don’t know much about him, but every time someone new declares their candidacy, I want them to be president. I think the same of any person I meet on the street, and some dogs.

It’s early, but I have a prediction: By the time Pete Beetlejuice completes his second term, the percentage of Americans able to pronounce his name will still be in the single digits. Fact: If you say his name three times, he’ll become president. Or he’ll wake up in Kansas. One of those.

Broadcasters have all but surrendered. There’s fear in their eyes when his name comes across the teleprompter. Then they spit out something you’d expect from a Pentecostal snake-handler speaking in tongues. “Uhhh, Pete… Butterjug… Bunnyfig… Buzzyfeed… Bungiejump…”

He might be enshrined in history simply as President Mayor Pete to save us from becoming a nation of stutterers. If he wins, even young Fred Chumbawamba will know that someday, he, too, could grow up to be president.

I really want Mayor Pete to become the nominee, based not so much on his policies and impeccable resume, but because I have a sadistic streak. I can’t wait to hear the president, who struggles with multisyllabic words, tackle “Buttigieg.”

He’ll have to resort to a nickname. In Vegas, the odds are 2-1 that it will be the obvious–Sneaky Pete. Coming in at 1,000-1, is Boutros Boutros Ghali–as in the name of the former Secretary General of the United Nations. Translated from Arabic, “Boutros” means “Peter.” Really. I think “Ghali” means “pumpkin eater.”

I just ran spellcheck on the previous paragraphs, and my computer crashed. On the upside, after rebooting, I found Hillary’s e-mails. Mostly hot dish recipes. And I got a friend request from a Chinese nationalist at Mar-a-Lago.

The question everyone is asking, but not out loud, is can a gay man be elected president in 2020? Why not? A black man was elected twice, and in 2016, we elected a moron. (Rex Tillerson’s words, not mine.) It’s about diversity. People from all walks of life. A Texan. A Kenyan. The Guy Who Invented the Internet. A peanut farmer in 1976. A nut, 40 years later. (My words, not Rex Tillerson’s.)

Democrats are at a crossroad between young and old, virtuous and handsy. The problem with Joe Biden’s scandal is it’s too lame. When Bill Clinton ran, women came out of the woodwork with accusations. America took one look and said, “That’s our guy.” Two years ago, America jumped in with both feet. It’s the Art of the Sleaze. A Brave New Weird. Bad is good, down is up, Trump is the new Jesus, and Stormy Daniels is the Virgin Mary. Ask any evangelical. Sin is in.

And your big scandal, Joe? Accusers claiming you invaded their personal space. Personal space? Is that’s all you’ve got? Where’s Billy Bush when you need him? Get back to me when you have a decent scandal, Joe. You’re out of touch. OK, bad choice of words.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.

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