By Wayne Goodwin, 13 January 2008 ©
Like many folks interested in politics and elections, I frequently traverse the Internet for the latest information, policy positions, and political punditry, and regularly Google various candidates and political leaders.
To my surprise on Saturday morning, I happened upon a website with the address www.jimlongforpresident.com … Is this for real? Yes, there it is with the presidential seal, video clips and the like: Jim Long is, indeed, running for President!
Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that this site - and this candidate - is not about the very familiar Jim Long of North Carolina that voters have grown to love over the last 23+ years that he has served as Insurance Commissioner.
Instead, this other Jim Long is a former New Yorker who now resides in Texas and is a candidate for President running on the "American Party" slate.
What stands out on first viewing - besides the wall of presidential seals staring out at you - is a video that Mr. Long features. He apparently filmed it as he is going to his brother's "bunker" (his word, not mine) in the backyard. From that mere point forward I had an idea what end of the political spectrum that this fellow is on (or has fallen off of). He then proceeds to borrow extensive clips from the Nicolas Cage film "National Treasure" and Will Smith's "I, Robot." He uses the former to promote that section of the Declaration of Independence which sanctions revolution and overthrowing despotism, and the latter to take vicious snipes at Senator Hillary Clinton, even going so far as to superimpose the Democratic presidential candidate and former First Lady's face onto the robot in the movie. This other Jim Long then relies upon significant TV footage from various news networks covering the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.
Then in what would cause whiplash in anyone watching, and in what can be called a bizarre twist at the least, the Texan then surprisingly airs very risqué video before segueing into heavy-metal rock band Motley Crue’s video of "Girls, Girls, Girls." To what voters is this Mr. Long pandering for President? Certainly not the educated, morally-upright ones.
That lengthy latter portion of campaign video also raises numerous questions about this fellow, particularly when one considers the Presidential candidate's statement that "faith is central to his family" and to him, and how he stresses his strong Catholic upbringing. His own video clips earn him the rather ignoble office of hypocrite.
And then there are his links to other Internet sites. This other Jim Long links to Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, among other right-wing conservative hatemongers.
Then something clicked with me. Scanning back to the first page of the website I noticed that this Jim Long is actually the American "Party" candidate, not the "American Party" candidate! I had misread the home page.
This has proven to be an example of American politics at its finest (read sarcastically). Almost anyone can still run for President. After a little more sleuthwork I determined that the actual "American Party" has been essentially defunct since 1992. So this fellow is flying by the seat of his pants for President, with no Party to back him except perhaps the one held every Friday night by his drinking buddies.
And, according to his website, all he needs is 690,000 people so sign his petition online and he can appear on the ballot in all 50 states.
Even if that were true and the blogosphere did its magic, I just don't see it happening for this fellow.
However, this is not the first other Jim Long to run on our Jim Long's good name.
Just a few years ago back here in North Carolina a fellow named - you guessed it - Jim Long ran as a Democratic candidate for the N.C. General Assembly against incumbent Republican State Representative Debbie Clary. Not only did that other Jim Long allegedly use Insurance Commissioner Jim Long's campaign signs (I think he cut off the words "Insurance Commissioner" from them) but the legislative district's own newspaper used a color photo of Insurance Commissioner Jim Long (wearing a Christmas tie) instead of the legislative contender Jim Long in its issue dedicated to local candidates for office! Confusion and hilarity ensued. Unlike the Insurance Commissioner - who yielded the largest vote percentage of any person running Statewide in 2004 - the "imposter" down-ballot in the legislative district was soundly defeated. (Of course, one caveat is that Rep. Clary's district is mostly Republican in registration.)
Though Jim Longs here and there run for President and for state legislatures all across this land, and though they appear in an abundance of other official positions as evidenced by surfing the 'Net, the good Lord truly broke the mold when He created our original Jim Long.
After all, our Jim Long is North Carolina's longest-serving Commissioner of Insurance - the longest currently serving in the Nation - and surely the Jim Long who will carry the banner to Election Day victory in North Carolina once again in 2008!
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