I was madly in love the summer the International Star Registry came out. I almost fell off my chair when I heard about it. For 50 bucks I could name a star — a star! — after my beloved. The only problem was that I was 16 and didn’t have 50 bucks. It was fortunate; she dumped me five years later.
I still marvel at the International Star Registry, though. Whoever thought of it must have run straight to the copyright office with his mouth taped shut.
Thirty-seven years later, there may be an even more inspired present to give, as long as you’re 18 and registered to vote. How awesome a gift would it be to pen in a friend for president. It’s not as romantic or weighty as a billion-year-old star, but it’s still got cachet: “Janet, I dig you so much I voted for you for president.” Boom!
To those who think I’m trivializing the presidency, I assure you, I’m not. Anyone who can stomach pulling a lever or filling in a dot for the choices on the ballot this year should absolutely do so. It’s your duty. But for those of us who truly, truly can’t, I say let anguish go. We’re liberated now — think of the possibilities.
Thirty years ago, I might have voted for Bill Cosby, but he turned out to be an alleged serial rapist, so he’s out. Steve McQueen is dead. He’d have been great. Bette Midler might be a good choice. That “Seinfeld” episode alone puts her in contention. Peyton Manning? He seems nice. And tall. People like tall presidents.
I’ve got five brothers and sisters; I can’t choose among them. My father’s 93, and my stepmother would kill me if I mentioned her name here. My father-in-law would be great, but he’s a true Scotsman. He’s even got a kilt. A couple of shots of Macallan 18s and he could send U.S. troops into Ireland just to get a rise out of me. Can’t take the chance.
My mother-in-law would make a great president. (She’d kill me if I didn’t mention her name here — Luisa Beveridge.) And no one would appreciate living in the White House more than she would. The food at state dinners would be fantastic — she’s such a good cook she has me calling tomato sauce “gravy” — but there are two problems: She’d never leave the kitchen to go to cabinet meetings, and she was born in Italy. So there’s that.
My fallback this year was Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. But he never really took off, not with Aleppo and the whole T-shirt-and-jacket-wearing stoner thing. Besides, Johnson’s only pulling about 6 percent. Why not go freelance?
I’ve got a few others I’m considering. Marisa Tomei is on my wife’s permission list, and Liev Schreiber looks like he means business. He’d scare the Iranians for sure. A dozen friends are under consideration, too.
Maybe you have some ideas. Or maybe it’s you I should vote for. Let me know. I’ve set up a special email to hear from you — email@example.com. Or you can tweet me at @wfbor. Nothing will be kept confidential.
William F.B. O’Reilly is a consultant for Republicans.