Burt Prelutsky

If he had thrown his hat in the ring, my first choice for president would have been Newt Gingrich, probably the smartest guy in politics. I still hope that whoever gets elected this November will make Gingrich his secretary of state.

But we don’t live in a perfect world so, several months ago, I came out in favor of Rudy Giuliani. My main reason for doing so was that I trusted him to deal in a serious way with our Islamic enemies. Unlike, say, George Bush, who couldn’t say enough nice things about Muhammad’s religion, Rudy didn’t seem to think he had to pussyfoot around the subject for fear of being politically incorrect. In other words, Giuliani made it clear that he was running to become president of the United States, and not the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan. Perhaps he made it too clear.

I would have voted for him if he hadn’t bowed out, but that doesn’t mean that if Romney, Huckabee or even John McCain, gets the nomination, I plan to stay home and sulk on election day.

I happen to think that people who support Clinton or Obama have a screw loose, but they strike me as being far more rational than my fellow Republicans who are threatening to boycott the election if their favorite candidate doesn’t head up the ticket. I can’t tell you how many people have written to me insisting that they’re sick and tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. I understand that they’re trying to convey their frustration, but I can’t help sniffing the undeniable stench of self-righteousness.

It’s as if they’re unaware that politicians are human beings, and not God. They’re people just like the rest of us, I point out, comprised in part of ambition, greed, arrogance and vanity, not to mention, on occasion, integrity, courage and even altruism. Let’s face the facts, ladies and gentlemen -- even those politicians we agree with also want to ride in well-guarded limousines and fly on Air Force One, have everybody stand up when they enter a room, be able to give tongue-lashings to senators and congressmen, have “Hail to the Chief” as their theme song, and never ever have to press one for English.