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Berger’s Burg: Queens columnist jumps into presidential waters


In my column of Jan. 6, I mentioned the possibility of my running for president of the entire country including California and Queens. I threw out the difficult decision to my readership…

By Alex Berger

“Politics is merely show business for ugly people” – James Carville

In my column of Jan. 6, I mentioned the possibility of my running for president of the entire country including California and Queens. I threw out the difficult decision to my readership to decide — yes or no.

Much to my surprise, I received overwhelming support and ringing endorsements from all corners of TimesLedger country and beyond — Gloria, my brother-in-law, Barry, and even my next-door neighbor, Mel. So, with this powerful mandate, I humbly decided to jump into the race.

I am aware that I am the underdog and have a bumpy road ahead, since the other candidates have the advantage of an earlier start. After listening to news personalities Peter Jennings and Bill O’Reilly, however, I know that all the candidates are having major problems. And the schism between the political parties is creating a huge problem for the country.

This festering environmental political pollution has become unhealthy for the electorate. The situation yells for me, Berger, the founder of the Independent-Demopublican-Republicrat party, to find a compromise out of this morass.

Before taking this giant step, I spent tortuous moments soul-searching, musing the pros and cons of this monumental undertaking (with a timeout to take out the garbage). It came upon me in a flash while I was taking a bubble bath and playing with my duckies — miniature caricatures of President George Bush and the other candidates.

I damply realized then and there that I — and only I — could give the American people another alternative, a premium alternative and a sensible alternative. Only I can offer a breath of political fresh air.

At first I was tentative but I was encouraged by my popular support. I formally entered the race yesterday when I took $100 from Gloria’s pin money (don’t tell her), for my political war chest.

I expect grassroots support when I begin stumping from “sea to shining sea.” I will begin, of course, in Queens, the cradle of democracy. My effervescent personality, sparkling smile, firm handshake and Lincoln-esque demeanor will certainly sway the voters.

And I will inject honesty into the office. As Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

At my political rallies I will say, “Read my lips. I promise never to impose any new taxes.” (However, making the old ones larger isn’t fabricating, is it?) Dissatisfied and grumpy electorate, I am now at your disposal.

There are only a few more months before Election Day, and time is running out. But there remain many undecided people who are on the fence mulling over the choices. So rejoice, one and all, as I formally toss my Giants’ helmet into the political arena. I am declaring to America, in a loud and clear whisper, my inspiring slogan: “Mull no longer, folks. The choice is clear. Berger, the Pretender, is here.”

Voters, just look around and what do you see? The Democrats are in a state of disarray, the Republicans are reproached, the ethnics are etherized, the Independents are indignant, the young are yowling, the seniors are simmering, the Liberals are languid, the Conservatives are consternating, the moderates are modulating, the feminists are fermenting and the machos are just nachos. This is not a pretty picture for our country to be in.

As a presidential candidate, I will stand out with my intellect, charm and savoir-faire. My “Stand Out” platform will include mothers, apple pie, Hershey bars (with almonds), reality television shows and Halloween.

I throw down the gauntlet, here and now. I am willing to debate anyone at any time and any place before Election Day, and that includes anyone. Correction — this challenge does not apply to women such as Hillary Clinton, Ann Coulter or Susan Sarandon. I learned after 40 years of marriage to Gloria, a man stands no chance of winning a debate with a member of the fair sex.

I will boldly cross swords with all dissenters who profess that I do not possess the where-with-all to do the job. What nonsense! Didn’t I once beat a traffic ticket by dazzling the judge with my ability to think on my feet? I sat down and cried.

So if I am elected I will gleefully watch TV reporters pontificating about solutions to the country’s problems and belittling me for not following their advice. But I will fool them. I will do absolutely nothing during my two terms as president. And, yes, I will run for a second term.

I also want investigative reporters to dig up my family history and print all exposés they may discover, such as my long-departed Aunt Choncha, who fed me chicken fat when I was a child because I was so skinny. And my Uncle Abie, who wore rumpled suits (horrors) to my bar mitzvah and my wedding.

As president, I will always rely on my God-given ability to immediately size up problems and immediately pinpoint a solution, be it right or wrong. I will be the best president since James Polk (1845-1849), our 11th president, who showed great bravery and intestinal fortitude. At the age of 17 while hunting in the backwoods of Kentucky, Polk had his gallstone removed without anesthesia.

What a man! Hmmm, maybe I should have a splinter removed without anesthesia while in office?

I want my income tax scrutinized. I want Gloria to be accused of running my office and making all my decisions. I guess she may have to since I will still be writing my weekly column. But best of all, I want my alleged sex life to be printed in supermarket tabloids and discussed on talk radio.

Think of it — made-up stories about Berger and Britney, Berger and Kidman, Berger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Wow! Office water coolers from Little Neck to Astoria would boil over from the flaming gossip.

Then once out of office, I will write my memoirs and deny every one of these allegations. As an elder statesman, I also could become the male Dr. Ruth. How would “Alex, the Sex Maven” look on the cover of my book?

As my campaign heats up, I will write columns about my run for president. So keep reading as I hit the campaign trail. “Happy days are here again.”

Reach presidential candidate Alex Berger by e-mail at timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 140.

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