Somehow, "President Hickenlooper" just doesn't sound right. But then neither does "President Trump." But the former Colorado governor is one of nearly two dozen candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. And despite his state having the No. 1 economy in the nation, Hickenlooper has no real chance of winning.
So why do they do it? Is it to embellish their profiles or just to raise money? And what happens to that money when they invariably drop out? Money talks and bullshit walks these days, so the most cash talks the most trash. Already, records are being broken for fund-raising, and the campaign hasn't officially started yet. There are so many aspiring Democrats that you can't tell the players without a program, so in no particular order, here are the top contenders for the opportunity to crush and humiliate the cruelest president in American history.
Joe Biden: Leave it to the Democrats to kneecap the front-runner before the race begins. Biden's latest controversy comes from former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores, who has accused the 76-year-old pol of smelling her hair and giving her a "big slow kiss" on the top of her head. Ever seen Biden swearing in new members of Congress with their families? Joe hugs and kisses everyone. He's just a hands-on guy. Some find it endearing, but Joe has promised to stop giving neck massages and sniffing hair. Biden comes with enough baggage to fill a cargo plane, already: failed runs for president, plagiarism accusations, the Anita Hill circus, his Iraq war vote. In his favor, Biden said of Trump, "I wish we were in high school. I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish." If that event were put on pay-per-view television, we could clear up the national debt. And to his credit, when Biden was Obama's Veep, it was a big fucking deal.
Bernie Sanders: I thought I was "feeling the Bern," but it turned out to be just a urinary tract infection. Bernie's no longer a novelty, so it will be a lot tougher for him to gain traction this go-round, despite raising $18 million and counting. Ever notice how he throws up a lot of "air quotes" when speaking? I can't watch him anymore without thinking he's doing a poor impression of Larry David doing an impression of Bernie. Now that Bernie's ideas have reached the mainstream, who needs a 77-year-old Jewish Socialist from Vermont? Sit down, Gramps, you're making me nervous and I'm holding a baseball bat.
Beto O'Rourke: Does he charge for those table dances, or does he do them for free? The former Texas congressman is this year's golden boy, but just coming close to defeating Ted Cruz, the most loathed Senator in Congress, is not enough for a run at the presidency. He's loved by millennials for being in a punk rock band called Foss, which is the Icelandic word for "waterfall." As a teen, O'Rourke was in a computer-hacking group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow, named after an abandoned Lubbock slaughterhouse, where his nom de plume was the "Psychedelic Warlord." Willie Nelson opened for him at a rally outside of Austin where Beto strapped on a guitar and joined the band in a version of "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die." He's been compared to Robert Kennedy, but when you're still skateboarding at 46, you're no RFK, sir.
Pete Buttigieg: "Mayor Pete" of South Bend, Indiana, has become a phenom because he's intelligent and informed, qualities that used to work in your favor. Buttigieg, pronounced "Boot-edge-edge," is a tough name to put on a bumper sticker, but he could use the slogan, "Go out on a ledge with Buttigieg." Mayor Pete speaks seven languages other than English and although he is the first openly gay candidate, he would not be the first gay president. That honor goes to James Buchanan, the "lifelong bachelor" who was often considered the worst president in history until the orange putz emerged. At least he won't be grabbing anyone by the pussy.
Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts Senator already has her nickname from the evil one, "Pocahontas," for bungling her old family yarns about her alleged Cherokee heritage. But since Orangeface speaks with a forked tongue, she can get past it. Warren is the favorite for taking it to Trump, but the galloping palomino of history might have passed her by in 2016. Still a formidable foe who has suggested breaking up "Big Tech," which is fine by me. We could use a trust-buster like Teddy Roosevelt, someone who Trump thinks is a Democrat.
Kirsten Gillibrand: Appointed by the New York governor to fill Hillary's Senate seat, Gillibrand has morphed from a "Blue Dog" Democrat with a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association into a "Yellow Dog" Democrat who's tilted mightily to the left. Known as the main cheerleader for drumming Al Franken out of Congress before it became known that it was a Republican hit job, Gillibrand voted to repeal D.C. laws banning semi-automatic weapons. That translates into no shot for the presidency.
Cory Booker: Rhodes Scholar, former jock at Stanford, vegetarian, and former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Booker would be our first bald president since Eisenhower, if you don't count whatever that mess is on Trump's head. Passionate even when not needed, Booker lived in a low-income housing project called Brick Towers while serving as mayor, so at least he wouldn't think the White House was a dump. Booker also saved his next-door neighbor from a burning building, making him the first potential Marvel Superhero candidate.
Kamala Harris: A former California prosecutor who made Brett Kavanaugh squirm, Harris would be the perfect candidate to try Trump for his high crimes and misdemeanors. While 27th District Attorney for San Francisco, Harris famously dated the then married mayor Willie Brown. Savvy and politically astute, Harris supports Medicare for all and legalization of marijuana. What's not to like?
Julian Castro: The former San Antonio mayor is the first Latino candidate, but President Castro? I don't think so. Too soon. At least he would have a built-in body double.
Not enough space to get to Amy Klobuchar (mean to her staff), Tulsi Gabbard (first Hindu member of Congress), Eric Swalwell (appeared with a frosted buzz-cut in his high school yearbook and annoying presence on cable TV), or Andrew Yang (do we need another businessman?). There are just too many also-rans when the only objective is to boot Mr. Nasty out of office. The word "orange" has no rhyme, but that's the color he'll be wearing when he's doing time.
My pick for the Democratic ticket: Warren/Harris. Make America Maternal Again, (MAMA).
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.