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The amazing race of 2008

I just want to throw something out there. I’m going to say it fast, so read carefully.

Here it goes: Bill Clinton should run against Arnold Schwarzenegger for president of the United States in 2008.

There, I said it. You can either keep reading why and how this should and could happen, or you can just stop now, because I’m about to get a little crazy.

To those of you still with me: This proposal sounds preposterous, I know, but there’s a chance it could happen.

First, each already has the most important trait a politician can have: name recognition. And it is no secret Schwarzenegger is one of the nation’s most popular Republicans — if you recall, he was a keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention.

Meanwhile, in Democrat Land, the donkeys are drifting aimlessly, unable to find an identity. The last time they had it: Clinton’s last term.

Still with me? Good.

Now, for this to be legally possible, two tweaks to our Constitution must happen. Never mind that only 27 (10 of which make up the Bill of Rights) of more than 10,000 proposed amendments have passed.

First, foreign-born Americans such as Schwarzenegger would have to be allowed to run. The governor has support, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) calling the restriction “an anachronism that is decidedly un-American.”

Second, former presidents such as Clinton would have to be afforded the same.

I called USF political science professor Dr. Susan A. MacManus and asked what the likelihood of Clinton versus Schwarzenegger in 2008.

“Zero chance for both,” she said. “It’s very unlikely.”

I also called Schwarzenegger’s office to see if the governor would consider running if the Constitution was amended. A member of his staff told me that the governor is “not thinking about that right now.”

Without a doubt, it’s a long shot. But was it unlikely when Schwarzenegger won the governor’s seat in California?

We have three years to get the amendments passed. Let’s make this happen — we need it.

If you haven’t already turned the page, let me tell you why: It would just be fun.

The possibilities — not to mention the entertainment value — would be immeasurable. Speeches would be epic; negative campaigning would be downright hilarious and the debates — complete with fireworks and special effects — would stop the world.

Clinton would tap wife Hillary as his running mate while Schwarzenegger would tap none other than Danny DeVito. It would be Twins 2, and it would, not surprisingly, be funnier than the original.

Now, would this match-up possibly mock or devalue the American electoral process?


Well, probably.

Fine, yes it would.

But honestly, the system in which we are entrenched is already a joke. Most states’ electoral votes are already decided, and a candidate can lose the election while winning the popular vote.

Clinton versus Schwarzenegger would make politics fun again. Bitterness, deficit, war and an overall feeling of impending doom have darkened the current political mood. Clinton or Schwarzenegger could not totally erase that, obviously, but the mood would certainly be brightened by a fresh, new philosophy of governance.

Fast forward to Nov. 2, 2008. Clinton versus Schwarzenegger was everything we thought it would be. And like any great drama, there’s one final plot twist.

As the night drags on, it becomes apparent that each candidate has collected 269 electoral votes. They’ve tied. As a result, the House of Representatives chooses the president and the Senate chooses the vice president.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you President Bill Clinton and Vice President Danny DeVito.Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.

John Calkins is a junior majoring in journalism.