November 11, 2022

Not a Serious Candidate

Pat Paulson (1927-1997) was an Emmy-winning comedian who satirically ran for President several times. His campaigns received light-hearted press coverage; the reporters knew he wasn't a serious candidate. Even so, he did get votes in some primary elections (both Democratic and Republican), beating some of the real but minor candidates. In 1996, he received 921 votes in the New Hampshire primary, coming in second to Bill Clinton (76,754 votes).

Everyone in the media knew that Paulsen's campaigns were performances, and he was not viewed as a serious candidate. Years later, when game show host donald trump announced his candidacy, I expected the media would give him the Pat Paulsen treatment. Instead, the networks promoted him as vigorously as they could, catapulting a New York real estate conman into national office. It was even more of a disaster than most people predicted, leading to the emergence of a strange, fascististic cult. @realrkwest

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