Washington, DC - Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (ret.), Ross Perot's running mate during the 1992 Presidential election, today announced his plan to run as an independent Vice Presidential candidate. In an unusual step, Admiral Stockdale is running without a Presidential candidate on the top of the ticket.
Best remembered for his confused performance during the 1992 Vice Presidential debate, Admiral Stockdale had largely disappeared from the political landscape over the past decade. His announcement was made this morning to a confused group of tourists outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the Mall.
"It is time for a change," began the Vice Admiral, who then wandered off, returning a few minutes later with a fresh shirt. "Much better," he continued. "I have some special ideas - secret ideas - that could solve some of the problems - secret problems - facing America."
As Mr. Stockdale continued, the crowd - which did not appear to know who he was - began to melt away. "Seriously folks, don't go, I have something else to tell you," called the Vice Admiral, as his erstwhile audience made their way into the museum as it opened.
When asked for his opinion of Stockdale's entry into the race, Bruce Reynolds, visiting Washington from Wichita, KS seemed baffled. "That guy is running for president?," he asked. Told that the Vice Admiral was running for vice president, Reynolds seemed relieved, "Oh, that's cool, I guess it makes sense."
The news though makes sense to very few beltway insiders. "It is, I believe, the first time in recent memory that a candidate has stood as a candidate for the vice presidency," said James H. Billington, The Librarian of Congress, "It is hard to imagine that at this point in the process Vice Admiral Stockdale will be able to gain the traction needed to run a successful campaign; and were he to succeed, who would serve as President? This whole thing is very confusing."
Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican National Committee was neither confused nor sanguine about the news. "This is clearly the work of Democratic operatives," sputtered Chairman Gillespie, "Admiral Stockdale was a spoiler for Bush 41 and now the Kerry campaign is hoping to steal some of W's thunder. It is a ruse that the American people will not stand for."
A spokesperson for the Kerry campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied these charges. "Frankly, it is hard to imagine that many people are going to be aware the Admiral Stockdale is running, or even who he is," said the aide, "when the gloves come off during this race, trust me, it is going to mean something. They [the Bush campaign] are going to wish we were working at this absurd level. Of course with Bush saying he wants to win the ‘erection' for another term as President on the ‘Untied' States, our job should be pretty easy," she concluded.
Vice Admiral Stockdale, for his part, seemed unaware of the controversy his candidacy had caused. Outside the Smithsonian this afternoon, Mr. Stockdale continued to attempt to draw a crowd, frequently falling back to his 1992 catch-phrase, "Who am I? Why am I here?"