I’m Running for President — You Could Do Worse (and Probably Will)

Originally published at The New York Post

My fellow citizens: I hereby announce my candidacy for president.

I’m 82 now, and am finally old enough.

When I told my wife, she said, “Well, they could do worse. And probably will.”

That will be my campaign slogan, “You Could Do Worse.”

The rest of her comment is good, but it won’t fit on our bumper stickers.

“Bruce on the Loose” was proposed by the independent political action committee set up to support me, but with which I cannot legally communicate.

I’m afraid its recommendation lacks specificity (I hope the committee is reading this). I am a plain spoken man-of-the-people and want voters to know my exact program.

I’m not going to make the mistake that Sen. Ted Kennedy made when he tried to beat President Jimmy Carter in 1980s primaries but could not answer the question of why he was running.

I am clear: I’m running to get free lodging in Washington, a very pricey town, and free transportation everywhere — with no worries about traffic.

I also like the other perks, such as limitless vacations, either to play golf or sit on the beach.

And I like the prospect that my otherwise normal and happy sons could join me on Air Force One as I fly around the world to visit the most juicy dictatorships and satrapies.

While along for the ride, they could do a little consulting work of their own, of course, maybe rake in millions.

That way they won’t become wards of the state someday — my gift to our overburdened taxpayers.

I believe voters deserve first-class service in Washington and that the way to start is by modeling a first-class presidency, no expense spared.

I am persuaded that America’s most extravagant days are still ahead.

Posterity is going to credit the sacrifices taxpayers make today for ushering in a new era (to paraphrase Lincoln) of government of the government, by the government and for the government. 

This does not mean that a reformed presidency will shun old customs.

In fact, as a candidate I will bring back the “front-porch campaign” style of the 19th century and put an end to the costly and unbecoming spectacle of candidates flying from one frantic rally to another.

I have to give Joe Biden credit here. His basement campaign of 2020, like his lack of serious press conferences as president, has set a high bar for his successors.

We don’t want to lock up the White House altogether, of course.

There will still be public tours.

And the president will speak out.

When asked what he thought of the new term of his day, “public opinion,” Theodore Roosevelt said, “I think the public has a right to know all my opinions.”

I’m with him.

No hiding behind a press secretary for President Chapman.

When in town, at least, I will opine on everything.

However, as another service to the American people, I will shut up most of the time.

Calvin Coolidge did it, and people were immensely grateful.

When Dwight Eisenhower got cornered on questions, he spoke in circles that left reporters scratching their heads.

I will follow the good examples of Silent Cal and Ike.

At least three days of the week will be designated “No news days,” so the public can get some rest and reporters can visit their families.

Issues? You want to know my positions on issues?

Well, when did that interest arise?

I recall that Richard Nixon’s position on the Vietnam War in 1968 was that he had a secret plan to end it.

I see that as a perfect precedent.

We waste a lot of time pretending to debate issues in campaigns.

Most of the questions are designed to humiliate one or more of the candidates.

That’s just too easy.

What I solemnly pledge is that on my very first day in office I will reveal all my previously secret plans to solve the nation’s problems: the Southern border, inflation, Ukraine, homelessness, trade, abortion, military preparedness, crime, taxes, regulations and generous pardons for my predecessors.

On the second day I’ll take a vacation.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.