Optimus Prime, Jesus or Hillary Clinton for president

Unsettled with the current slate of presidential contenders? The good people at McSweeney's come to the rescue.

Published May 18, 2007 2:10PM (EDT)

People keep complaining that there are just too many candidates at these presidential debates. But maybe the problem is that we don't have enough candidates. John Moe, a political pundit over at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, has proposed a slate of 20 candidates for each party. That would be public service enough, but Moe goes even further by giving us the pros and cons for each candidate. Some excerpts are below, but don't stop here. Click these links for the Democrats and the Republicans to read the whole list. You won't regret it.

The Democrats


Pro: Known commodity; strong fundraiser.

Con: Polarizing; unlikely to woo those already opposed to her.


Pro: Could draw some initial interest from the Christian right until they research his actual positions in a deeper way; likable; strong leadership qualities.

Con: Unkempt; pretty far left; messianic complex.


Pro: Size; power; ability to emit short-range optic blasts.

Con: Potential attack ad: "Sometimes Optimus Prime is a robot, other times a truck. Which is it, Mr. Prime? America deserves a leader that doesn't transform whenever it's convenient."

The Republicans


Pro: Probably the most Reaganesque candidate available; if stoked with the brains of the living, should operate in an acceptable fashion.

Con: Long-dead eyes lack that magic twinkle; inhuman groans negatively impact "Great Communicator" status.


Pro: Appears to be some sort of politician who wants to be president, I guess. That's all anyone in the entire nation knows about him, including himself and his family.

Con: Born with two last names, though this liability could be mitigated by teaming with Texas Representative Ron Paul, who is also running.


Pro: Well known.

Con: See above.

By Michael Scherer

Michael Scherer is Salon's Washington correspondent. Read his other articles here.

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