What do Americans want in a presidential candidate? A number of recent polls have indicated a decisive shift in what average citizens are looking for in a presidential candidate. The results have spurred presidential hopeful Spongebob Squarepants’ campaign team into yet another round of spin control as a result of falling poll numbers and the candidate’s uncertain stance on homosexuality. Still the news is not all bad.
Americans Are Tired of Ideologues
The country seems to be wary of candidates with fervent beliefs and preconceived ideas. Considering Spongebob’s well-known, fervent belief in Krabby Patties, the Spongebob team has been quietly deemphasizing the candidate’s enthusiasm for the Krusty Krab culinary sensation. Spongebob has recently been photographed eating at a number of different restaurants, including a well-publicized trip to the Chum Bucket, as proof of the candidate’s willingness to embrace ideas from many different cultures and beliefs.
Voters in presidential elections tend to look for the incumbent candidate’s weakness and look for candidates that are strong in these areas. In the upcoming election, voters will be looking for a highly educated candidate, who seems to be intelligent and curious about the details.
This result is a mixed blessing for Spongebob. Although he’s spent a great deal of time in boating school, which is in his favor, most voters polled indicate they don’t consider Spongebob to be highly intelligent, citing his inability to figure out that Wormy had turned into a butterfly as one of many examples of his lack of brains.
Washington Insiders Not Wanted
Average citizens are not looking for Washington experience and are indeed a bit leery of any candidate holding public office. This is welcome news for the Spongebob campaign, which has been playing up the candidate’s outsider position as well as Spongebob’s general lack of political experience as a whole.
According to Spongebob for President campaign manager, Patrick Star, “The fact that Spongebob is not a politician is a tremendous asset to the Spongebob campaign.”
No More Baby Boomer Issues
Voters seem weary of counter-culture issues that have defined American politics since the 1960s. The fact that Spongebob didn’t even exist in the 1960s plays strongly in his favor.
Middle Class Understanding
Voters seem to be looking for candidates who understand middle class values and family life.
“If any issue defines the Spongebob candidacy, it’s this,” says Star. “After all, Spongebob, as a minimum wage burger-flipper for the Krusty Krab, doesn’t just understand the middle class, he IS the middle class.”
Anything But Bush
According to a Time Magazine poll, 60% of Americans want the next president to “be completely different from incumbent George W. Bush.” As an animated sponge, this works well for the Spongebob camp. He’s about as different from Bush as you can get.
Handling of Iraq
The same Time poll indicates that three out of five Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction with regards to Iraq.
Spongebob has no Iraq policy whatsoever, and this may well be his trump card in the upcoming election, stealing thunder from many Democratic candidates who have tried the same approach.
“Right now [Spongebob is just spouting contradictory rhetoric] about Iraq,” according to Patrick Star. “Our [strategy from the beginning has been] simple”, Star adds, “Whatever [the president says, we just say the opposite.]”
So far Spongebob’s strategy has been paying off.
Trouble in the Campaign
Still skeptics are quick to point out Spongebob’s weaknesses as a candidate.
“The basic fact is that a sponge has never been elected president before,” says political analyst Abe Wiseman. “It’s uncertain whether anyone other than an old, white male can actually win a presidential election.”
Spongebob sees his ethnicity as both a strength and a weakness. In addition, because sea sponges are hermaphrodites, he faces many of the same tough critics as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“It remains to be seen whether a female can be elected president,” according to Wiseman, “And since sea sponges are technically neither male nor female, this may hurt Spongebob’s chances.”
The Spongebob campaign is quick to point out that sea sponges are both male and female, giving Spongebob a much broader appeal than traditional, single-sexed candidates.
Also still dogging the candidate is his stance on abortion (undecided, since sea sponges are hermaphrodites and reproduce externally).
The biggest hurdle Spongebob faces is the same one that has so far prevented Arnold Schwarzenegger from running for president. According to government sources, there is some doubt as to whether Bikini Bottom (Spongebob’s place of residence) is actually part of the United States. This could render Spongebob’s campaign dead in the water, according to most political analysts. However, until that is decided, the other campaigns are keeping a close eye on Spongebob Squarepants.
Sources: Newsweek, Bloomberg