Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, members of the press, my fellow Mainers: it is with the utmost humility that today I announce I will be an independent candidate for the governorship of the great state of Maine.
(Pause for applause.)
Thank you. Thank you very much.
With the field of candidates for governor now numbering close to four score and 20 and the race wide open, I have decided to offer myself as a clear alternative to more-of-the-same, what’s-he-thinking, what’s-her-name-again and throw-the-bums-out. I believe I would be the perfect governor of Maine because I know I am not qualified and I really don’t want the job. That’s more than most candidates can say.
I figure my chances of separating myself from such a large field are good because I have such great name recognition. When I plaster “Vote EDGAR” signs up and down Route 1 every 30 feet from Kittery to Fort Kent (as Maine law allows), I’m sure everyone will know who Edgar is and will rally to my cause. After all, I am on a first-name basis with both Angus and Chellie.
You’ve probably all asked yourselves at one time or another what’s wrong with a person who announces for high office who obviously has no chance whatsoever of winning. I know I have. Just not of myself.
This crowded field of candidates is, of course, a direct response to two painful terms of Gov. Paul LePage. Half the people in the race just want to atone for the sins of LePage. The other half simply figure if LePage can be governor, anyone can.
So why not me? Although I am usually too modest to tout my own virtues, I do believe I have something distinct to offer the voters.
I will be the only candidate in the race with both a full beard and glasses, thus making me very easy to identify in a crowd. Yes, Mark Dion has a goatee and glasses, but a goatee isn’t a real beard any more than Libertarian candidate Richard Light’s stubble is. I am, however, a little worried that Mary Mayhew’s exposure to BPA may cause her to grow one of those “little beards” LePage is so fond of. That may result in the two of us becoming confused. I know I am.
My qualifications are negligible at best, but I am a pretty good public speaker, if I do say so myself. I possess a wicked sense of humor, I am as honest as the day is long, I avoid cliches like the plague and I have 424 Facebook friends. I know. Mark Eves has 4,999 Facebook friends, but, really, are they truly his friends? And more to the point, Eves and I have 77 mutual friends. The only candidate with whom I have more mutual Facebook friends is Alan Caron at 96 (Alan’s not 96. We just have that many friends in common).
The only politician with whom I share more mutual Facebook friends is Hannah Pingree, at 99, and Hannah, who would be my pick for governor, is the only Democrat in the state not in the race. I’d run as a Democrat myself, but why would anyone run in a primary when you can’t be eliminated if you just run as an independent? If Eliot Cutler taught us anything, it’s that.
The benefits to the media of a Beem administration should be obvious. Not only am I easy to caricature, digging up dirt on me should be pretty simple. I have written some pretty outlandish things in close to 50 years as a journalist and there was that incident back in ’99 involving a high school prom.
As to my agenda, you can be sure it will be a reliably progressive one. I would seek to undo just about everything LePage has done or tried to do. I would expand Medicaid, restore compassion to the Department of Health and Human Services, hand out loose change to panhandlers every chance I get and lower the voting age to 12 so that the people most effected by the dumb things so-called responsible adults do will have a say in their own futures.
I think my chances of being elected are as good as anyone’s at this point. The only opponent I am worried about is Adam Cote. He’s a military veteran, a successful entrepreneur, a moderate Democrat and a political outsider. His only drawback is that he is not a woman. He’s probably just what Maine needs in 2018. Obviously, I am not. But since voters in Maine and America have demonstrated repeatedly that they do not know what is in their own best interest, I figure I’ve got a real shot.
Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.