This election season brings this correspondent both sweet and bitter memories of the last big election campaign, 2008. Sweet was that my man won the job, and being a black guy and all, he made history before he even sat down at his desk. America, and the world, changed that day.

The bitter memories of ’08? That would be my failed attempt to secure the Vice Presidency. Long and hard I tried to sell myself to Mr. Obama as the perfect running mate, the one guy he could pick to be his Vice President who doesn’t think he could do the job better.

The problem with Vice Presidents for the last 70 years or so is that they are always guys who came close to being the Presidential Candidate themselves, and thus potentially the President, and have just spent almost a year on the campaign trail ridiculing the ideas of the guy who won. They get picked to be VP because they can deliver votes and not outshine their boss. In other word, the dullest of the losers.

Their historical uniform drabness, unfotunately, never stopped one of them from being convinced they could do way better than the boss, and they get to be huge pains in the ass, forcing Presidents to take time out of their busy schedules to appoint them to head all sorts of important-sounding committees and councils in order to keep them out of the way of the people who actually matter.

Being a discreet guy in a do-nothing job is what the Vice Presidency used to be all about, before mass media switched from being the observers and recorders of presidential elections to the driving force, a voracious entertainment machine that demanded photogenic stars for presidential wannabes. Policy debates and discussing real issues have become as rare as an ugly president.

A guy who looked like Abe Lincoln wouldn’t stand a chance against today’s glib hunks with expensive haircuts and Armani suits, and he’d get ripped to shreds by their sound byte-savvy campaign gurus with their attack ads that imply that anyone even thinking about voting for Honest Abe was guilty of treason, immorality, criminality, or all three.

Generally, the president looks like the handsome older guy model in clothing catalogues or a soap opera actor who plays an important man, while the Vice President always seems to look like a thousand other people with more ambition than brains, not especially memorable but eager to make a difference and desperate to get some face time on TV and blow hot air, more often than not becoming a major thorn in the side of the president.

Joe Biden, bless his soul, is the latest VP who didn’t get the memo that the country voted for his boss, not him, and nobody gives a rat’s ass what he thinks. Joe’s an amiable enough dope, but he’ll be pushing 70 in 2012 and was a Senator since he was in high school and ran for president a bunch of times himself, and as a result takes himself far too seriously. Clearly it’s time for new blood in the #2 seat.

That’s where I come in, the perfect choice for President Obama. I can guarantee him I’ll never bother him with my opinion on important matters of state, or pop off to the press with some embarrassing statement. I’ll just sort of hang around the Vice Presidential Mansion and stay out of everybody’s way, the only proper way for a Vice President to behave.

I’d be handy to fly around the world on Air Force 2 to deliver messages, attend the funerals of bloodthirsty dictators who were nominally our allies but were nightmares instead, and break any tie votes in the Senate in the president’s favor. I promise not to come up with any brainstorms about changing the world or make a nuisance of myself by taking up a “Cause.”

I’ll just sort of be there, but not be there, and will not overtax my staff with memos and meetings. When asked about public policy and presidential decisions, my stock answer will be: “What he said.” And I sure as hell won’t go all Shotgun Dick Cheney on the president and take over the government. Who needs that headache?

President Obama could call on me anytime he wants to fly to Scandinavia to see how their women’s volley ball program stacks up against ours, to go on “fact-finding” tours of the waterfront in Brazil to investigate global beach erosion, entertain minor foreign dignitaries and to get interviewed by bland magazines like Reader’s Digest and Lady’s Home Journal.

In order to keep myself and my staff fit and ready to do very little, I will hang around the Vice Presidential swimming pool with my secretaries, swimming and getting some “cardio,” which will guarantee that I am a genial, happy camper who can be counted on to be the picture of contentment and joviality, pretty much all the American people want in a Vice President.

I can tell a decent story, charm the pants off old ladies (who vote in every election), trade insults with blowhard Cable TV dunces, and praise the president as the best thing since chocolate chips. I look good in a suit, have complete command of the English language and am very comfortable doing next to nothing, which all adds up to the Perfect Vice President.

President Obama works hard and deserves a proper Vice President; one who doesn’t work very much at all. It’s never too early to start campaigning these days, so let’s call this the opening salvo in my fight for the #2 job. Bob Crespo for Vice President in 2012! I VOW NOT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! BOB CRESPO FOR #2!

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