"Teddy, this is your mother."

"Yes, Mother."

"What have you been doing lately?"

"I'm running for president. You said I could."

"I said you could run for president, but I didn't expect you to run that way."

"What did I do wrong?"

"To begin with, why did you go on the Roger Mudd television show?"

"I thought that would be a good place to explain my political philosophy, articulate the issues of the day and tell the American people why I wanted to be president of the United States."

"Well, why didn't you?"

"I forgot."

"You should have written it on the cuff of your shirt."

"Gosh, Mother, it's hard to remember everything. Besides, nobody saw the Roger Mudd show. They were all watching 'Jaws.'"

"They may have all been watching 'Jaws,' but they all think they saw the Roger Mudd show, which is just as bad. If everyone who claims to have seen you and Roger Mudd really did, I think the man who runs the Nielsen ratings should be impeached."

"Mother, I'm terribly busy. I have to go out and campaign."

"That's what I'm calling about, Teddy. Why do you have to go out and campaign?"

"Because I'm running for president."

"Are you going to talk about the shah?"

"I've got to talk about something. The shah's a very bad person."

"We all know that, Teddy. But talking about him now is like talking about lemons and bananas."

"What do you mean by that?"

"The shah's a lemon, and the ayatollah is bananas."

"You don't understand, Mother. It's a jungle out there. President Carter is safe in the White House and he's on television every night. If I don't say something provocative, nobody will know I'm running for office."

"I'll know, Teddy."

"It's not enough. I've got to win Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. How do I do it?"

"Why don't you attack the American Medical Association.

"Nobody cares about my national health insurance program now. It isn't playing in Des Moines."

"How about inflation? No one likes inflation."

"People go to sleep when I talk about inflation. I told you if I ran for president it wouldn't be easy. I have to go out on a limb if I hope to win the primaries."

"I have a good idea. Why don't you ask Roger Mudd if you can go on his show again?"

"What for?"

"Tell him you just thought of a reason you want to run for president, but ask him to make it a multiple choice question."

"It's too late, Mother. CBS has done me already."

"What about Barbara Walters? She seems like a nice person."

"What could Barbara Walters do for me that Roger Mudd couldn't?"

"Let her come to your home without TV cameras, and allow her to take a Polaroid picture of you as she did with the shah. In that way she can't hurt you."

"All right, anything you say, Mother, Can I go now?"

"Who's stopping you? I just called to cheer you up."