With the U.S. elections now concluded, commentators will be quick to tell you that jockeying has already begun for next time. But forecasting the 2012 campaign is for wusses. Now that the presidential race has become a non-stop, all-encompassing industry unto itself, big-league pundits and political operatives are focusing waaay further into the future. Let’s examine the leading contenders for the 2056 race for the White House.
Hannah Andrewes, 5 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Active in politics since her first birthday, when she received from her grandma the gift of an exploratory committee, Hannah is a rising star in the Democratic party. She was conceived by her politically savvy parents on the state line between Michigan and Ohio, giving her roots in two crucial swing states. One wild card remains how the voting public will react to her unorthodox choice for running mate: a pink unicorn. Could play well in the northwest and Clay Aiken’s house.
Isaac Brooks, 8 (Bloomington, Ind.): A Republican upstart from the Midwest, Isaac is showing experience beyond his years with aggressive and effective political tactics—foremost among them: a series of robo-calls to Fort Lauderdale residents alleging that rival Hannah Andrewes’ work on a papier mâché alligator makes her “too French” for Middle America.
Donald “Donny” Harris, 15 (Scranton, Penn.): Considered the early Democratic front-runner for ’56 after his masterful leadership role in Philadelphia’s cafeteria uprising of 2007, Donny’s chances have faded amid revelations that he was for Salisbury steak before he was against it. More troubling, Republicans have successfully Swiftboated claims that he made it to the end of Gears of War. But Donny insists he still has the support of “real” Americans like his friends Amir the Television Watcher and Doug the Guy Whose Father Can Do Some Plumbing If Need Be.
Bristol Palin, 17 (Juneau, Alaska): She’s pregnant with child now, but soon she’ll be pregnant with political possibility! Many Republicans see Bristol as the only candidate with the bona fides to unite the party’s fractious pro-life and pro-mullet wings and carry on the Palin family dynasty, following President Sarah Palin’s first term in office (2012-2016), her second term in office (2016-2020) and her armed refusal to leave office (2020-2031).
Deep Blue 7.0, in beta (IBM HQ, Armonk, N.Y.): The original chess-playing computer is being reprogrammed as America’s perfect Democratic candidate: compassionate without being wimpy, charismatic without being effete, and technically incapable of undergoing a $400 haircut. Deep Blue comes installed with a proprietary Pain Feeling simulator and a database of achingly sentimental references to its three photogenic children (“Deep Blue 7.1,” “Deep Blue 7.2” and “Greg”). Its handlers are still working out the kinks in its Inspirational Political Slogan generator, which is currently stuck on “Bishop to Queen Three. Check.”
Zombie Hillary Clinton, 61 (Chappaqua, N.Y.): Assuming she loses in 2016 what many assume to be her final shot at the presidency, Hillary Clinton will be poised to surprise the pundits yet again—by trading in the pleasures of mortal life for the persuasive ability that comes with picking, and subsequently devouring, the best political minds in the country. After roaming the countryside for decades, terrorizing hapless villagers and amassing a huge army of the walking undead, Clinton will be well-positioned to capture the Democratic nomination and coax her reanimated followers—raised from the grave without the power of speech or free will—to cast a ballot for America’s first zombie president since Ford. Keen observers predict subtle changes to Clinton’s strategy, foremost among them a migration from a campaign based on “the strength of experience” to a campaign based on “brraaaaaaaainzzzzzz.”
Samuel Eppich, 0 (Nashville, Tenn.): The first 100 days of a presidency are considered crucial—and so too, for a potential presidential candidate, are the first 100 days of life. Sam has impressed pundits on both sides of the partisan divide with his formidable list of accomplishments, including the movement of fecal matter, which garnered great praise among focus groups comprised of his mom. At times crabby and irritable, at other times confused and prone to sudden napping, Sam has demonstrated a keen ability to mimic the campaign demeanour of John McCain. But can he mount a counterattack to those who accurately contend that he neither supported nor opposed the war in Iraq?