How to Become President: Chapter 1

June 1, 2009



Draw up a polling booth.

Or better still, sit on my lap. There, isn’t that nicer? If anybody objects we’ll tell them it’s just Progressive Education. And now, unless you think of a better idea, I will tell you how to become President long after Mr. Roosevelt is forgotten. Not before.

Who am I to talk? That’s a fair question, and one which deserves a better answer than I can give you. But after all, you know, Frank Kent says, “The Democratic Party has no suitable candidate.” Walter Lippmann says, “The Republican Party has no suitable candidate.” Dewey, McNutt, Taft, Garner, Vandenberg, Farley and Norman Thomas all say, “Nuts,” which of course nominates me by acclamation.

But if you really parted with good money for this book, and not just the kind my brother makes out in our garage, they might just as well have meant you. And if Mr. Roosevelt’s option isn’t picked up your chances are just as good as anybody’s, because as I always say, a great many people over 21 are old enough to vote.

Come to think of it, who are you? Whoever you are, I sympathize with you. I sympathize with everybody; that’s what I get for being a candidate myself. Let them call us nonentities. Who cares? A nonenitiy can be just as famous as anybody else if enough people know about him.


But let’s leave personalities out of this and just talk about me. Look at the record. Hear my side. Then turn it over and play Ray Noble’s special arrangement of my campaign song, “Vote for Gracie.”

One of the greatest problems today is about the people who would rather be right than be President. I have a solution for that. You can be Left and President: that way you can eat your cake and halve it too. Or you can stay in the middle of the road and get run over.

Either way, I’m proud to be an American. They can have their European Royalties. I’ll just keep my U. S. and Canadian first serial rights–unless George gets the check first, that being the one kind of a check George would reach for.

As we walk hand in hand through the pathways of knowledge, remember that I am giving you freely and without stint the full accumulation of my two months’ experience as a candidate. I have on file a complete record of everything I’ve said and done. Ever since I threw my hat in the ring I have had myself shadowed, and the results were very entertaining. The things that go on in those back rooms, you wouldn’t believe.

So now we begin our journey together. If you follow these instructions carefully, you will find that every step of your progress, like the path that climbs up and up from the sheltered valley, offers you an ever-wider and more facinating vista, until at last you come out upon the summit of the wrong hill.


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