The voice of the presidential candidate was nasal, daft and yet inspirational. A man for several silly seasons.
"I'll be a decisive president, probably ."
Why are you running for the White House?
"Because it's there. It's something to do. I'm bored."
Who are your voters?
"I read an article that said one in five Americans thinks Elvis is alive. I want to find those morons and get them registered to vote for me."
What's your vision of the future?
"As I've always said: The future lies ahead."
You said you're going to New Hampshire in a few weeks. Will you also go to Iowa?
"I want to caucus in Iowa. I'll caucus all over the state. I don't caucus in California. You don't caucus where you live. It doesn't look good."
Yes, election fans, comedian and political thinker Pat Paulsen is again running for the leadership of the Free World. And bringing his campaign today to Oceanside to announce his vice presidential running mate and then stump at the Comedy Nite laugh parlor (2216 El Camino Real), 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
He won't leak the name of his veep wanna-be. But he does tease that he will be accompanied by Abraham Lincoln:
"He had a great sense of humor, did you know that? They shot him. Must have been his material."
What about your First Lady?
"I'm 64 years old. I can't remember my First Lady. I remember ladies who I wanted to become my First Lady but they wouldn't."
What's the first thing you'll do as President?
"Attack Canada. They've never paid us for all those chemicals we've been sending them."
He's run, off and on, since 1968. He's been a Democrat, a founding member of the S.T.A.G. party (Straight Talking American Government) and now he's a Republican.
"Usually it's the Democrats who have the perverts and loonies running for President. This year it's the Republicans, with Duke and Buchanan and Bush. I feel more comfortable with loonies. I'll fit right in."
The presidency requires intellect. Are you equipped?
"Deep down, I happen to be very shallow."
Nuclear War Games
Saddam, plus a year:
* As part of their mind games, the Iraqi thugs who interrogated and abused American POWs during the Persian Gulf War asked them whether the United States would use nuclear weapons.
At least one POW got in a counterpunch, mind game-wise.
Marine Chief Warrant Officer Guy Hunter from Camp Pendleton, a POW for 46 days, told Times reporter Nora Zamichow that one prisoner was asked directly if President Bush would ever drop nuclear bombs on Iraq.
"Absolutely not," said the prisoner.
Then the interrogator told the prisoner that Bush was dead. Would President Quayle use nukes? he asked.
"Sure," said the prisoner, " he likes nuclear weapons."
* During his days and nights as a POW, Marine Lt. Col. Cliff Acree worried that if he did not survive captivity, he and his wife of two years, Cindy, would never realize their dream of having a child.
But Acree did survive and is back at Camp Pendleton. And Cindy, who is writing a book about the Persian Gulf POWs, is pregnant.
The couple knows the baby is a boy and they've already selected a middle name: Freedom.
* As a legacy of his POW ordeal, Acree now eats a potato every day.
Explanation: POWs were made to subsist on thin broth. Only on rare occasions was there a slice of potato.
Acree picked up the notion that potatoes are a delicacy and it stuck with him.
Off the Cuff
Words to live by.
Troy Neal of Vista goes to a physical therapist for a rotator cuff problem.
There he was the other day when the 5-year-old daughter of a fellow patient walked in and announced to her mother:
"I came in to see that physical terrorist you told me about."