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Red Herring: Kucinich goes inter-galactic

By Orion Archibald

ROSWELL, N.M. — Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign just hit warp nine.

The seventh-most popular Democratic hopeful got a jump on the competition Wednesday, becoming the first candidate to announce his running mate for vice president. The choice? None other than former USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fame.

“Just as our forefather, the great Captain James Tiberius Kirk, took part in the first interracial kiss in television history, so will I usher in the first intergalactic White House in the history of the United States,” Kucinich said in a prepared statement, adding: “Live long and prosper.”

The surprise announcement was made during a press conference at the New Mexico Military Institute and broadcast via satellite on the face of the moon Wednesday afternoon.

Picard was not in attendance.

Although such pivotal decisions usually come after candidates have received a nomination from their party, Kucinich decided to set the wheels of his administration in motion early to further solidify his candidacy — as well as remind people that he is running for president of the United States.

“I’m a congressman from Ohio,” he said.

Although Picard has remained out of the limelight since “Star Trek: Nemesis” bombed at the U.S. box office, his unveiling as veep candidate came as no surprise to those in Kucinich’s inner circle. Rumors were already swirling that Picard had emerged as a dark-horse candidate, though Washington insiders say that in recent days Morpheus, from “The Matrix,” had been considered “the most viable option.”

In fact, Morpheus was such a strong consideration that sources say it’s near-certainty he will be named as Kucinich’s proposed secretary of state. An announcement is imminent within days, likely followed by another press conference, during which the legendarily statuesque and charismatic Morpheus is expected to give a stirring speech about what it means to be human and the power of humans in the war against machines.

However, Picard’s selection speaks volumes about the direction of Kucinich’s presidential run. One of his closest campaign advisers, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Picard was chosen because of his leadership experience, decisiveness in battle and classical Shakespearean training. His nomination suggests that Kucinich means business about stopping terrorism in its tracks.

The diminutive Kucinich has long been a staunch opponent of the Iraq War, often calling Democratic foes Hillary Clinton and John Edwards to task for their support of the invasion. His campaign slogan, “Strength Through Peace,” is eerily similar to the mantra by which Picard led the Enterprise crew throughout his reign as captain. The decision to nominate Picard is a move that political analysts are calling a major coup for interstellar diplomacy.

“We’ll need someone with his sense of duty and his military experience, particularly in the event that Iran and North Korea move forward with their nuclear programs,” Kucinich said with a smile. “Or if Romulans stage a coup d’état by infiltrating our precious bodily fluids, seizing our natural resources and shipping us all to a slave-mining colony on a faraway planet lit by a neighboring star.”

Several pundits noted that the other Democratic candidates have “little to no” expertise on alien life forms. The pairing of Kucinich, who admits he regularly communicates with UFOs, and Picard makes for an intimidating combination, one analyst said.

Kucinich also warned his audience — and, by proxy, America — about the potential dangers posed by cyborgs from the future becoming self-aware, insisting that when the time comes his administration will be fully prepared to “unite against the forces of a possible Rebel alliance.” In preparation, several of his staffers, headed by Starfleet’s own android Lieutenant Commander Data, have begun rounding up all young males named John Connor and Luke Skywalker for a potentially selective draft.

In addition to Picard’s obvious qualifications on matters of foreign policy, some see his selection as a conciliatory measure that might bridge the partisan gap plaguing American politics.

“It’s time for healing in this magnificent vessel known as America,” Kucinich said. “Jean-Luc Picard is just the man to start that healing process.”

The issues start with Kucinich and his fiercest nemesis, Dick Cheney. That’s where Picard comes in, for he has found a kindred spirit in the current vice president. Like Cheney, Picard, too, has a “bum ticker,” having been stabbed through the heart by a bloodthirsty Nausicaan mercenary upon his graduation from the Starfleet Academy years ago. The nearly-fatal wound necessitated the use of a parthenogenetic artificial heart.

“The mending of fences,” one source says, “starts with Picard and Cheney.”

Until the time comes to face off against the Republicans, the Kucinich/Picard ticket will begin making the rounds in preparation for January’s Iowa caucus. The rest of Kucinich’s proposed cabinet will be rounded out in the next few days, with the likes of Galadriel, Aragorn and Fox Mulder expected to be in the mix.

No word yet on Jonathan Frakes’ rumored involvement.

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