Haley Barbour isn’t running — he can’t spare 10 years!


Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour speaks in Jackson, Miss, on April 21. Barbour says he won't be a presidential candidate for 2012. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Not because of that quote about watermelons that he would have had to keep explaining at every campaign stop.

Not because of the fact that even when he makes an announcement like this — that he isn’t running for president — he can’t manage to trend on Twitter.

Not because the announcement was how most people learned that he was even thinking about running.

Not because of the fact that, as comedian Andy Borowitz quipped, he had “6 percent name recognition among members of his immediate family.”

No, because “a candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.”

Really, Haley? Ten? I’m pretty sure you could have gotten by with six.

This is probably a good time for me to announce that I am not running either.

Not because no one really knew I was running before, or who I was.

But because, well, who knows where I will be in 10 years? I might be living under a bridge! I might be in a committed long-term relationship with Matthew Gray Gubler! That’s the sort of uncertainty up with which a president cannot put.

In fact, forget 10 years! I am not running because I know that once the American people know who I am, they will roar with a single voice that they cannot do without me. I could swing 10 years. But once those American voters got their hands on me, I’d be stuck in office for life, like a taller FDR, but with more marital fidelity!

And I have other plans. For instance, I am going to pick up my dry cleaning at some point. And what about my next life? What if people demand that I come back and reprise the role?

I was planning to be reincarnated as a watermelon.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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