As the American presidential campaign finally comes to a close on election day next week, we would be wise to remember a candidate who may never have actually won, but was very good at running. In fact, in ran in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996. As those campaigns ground on, Pat Paulsen became the comic relief, when a good laugh was sorely needed. His deadpan comic delivery allowed him to be funny and to also make the occasional serious point.
Paulsen began his quest for the presidency on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968, where his weekly editorials had become very popular. He actually managed to get on the ballot several times, and garnered more than his share of protest votes. His humble opinion of himself was that he "just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny," and he would silence any criticism from his opponents with a simple, "picky, picky, picky."
The video above is Paulsen announcing his bid for the Presidency (or begging to be drafted) in 1988. It's from the Smothers Brothers 20th Anniversary Reunion Show.
Paulsen died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 69.
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