“[I’m the guy in] a mildly expensive suit… I don’t own a single stock or bond. I have no savings accounts.” – Joe Biden, CBS
“We had no money… and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education.” – Hillary Clinton, ABC News
Ladies and gentlemen, while most politicians declare their intent to run for president with some ritzy, ooh-la-la spectacle at one of our district’s egregiously expensive-to-rent, symbolically high-ceilinged ballrooms meant for the 1%, I don’t relate to that. In fact, that’s why I’m making this announcement here at this D.C. Outback Steakhouse, which I’m pretty sure middle and lower class Americans can relate to. See, I’m not your standard Washington fat cat. In fact, I believe that I, former Senator John Clemmons of Texas, am the perfect choice to be your next President of the United States of America because I am so damn poor.
Now, sure, some “sources” will have you believe the standard U.S. Senator makes $174,000 per year, nearly three times the American median household income of $51,000, but that sounds a little fabricated to me. I mean, sending your kids to college wouldn’t make too much sense if you made that little, right? Still, even if those numbers are in ballpark, I find facts can only explain so much. It’s the stories and experiences I’ve accumulated over these years as a perpetually dead broke, former banker turned U.S. politician, that truly reveal how well I relate to the poor, disenfranchised American people I desperately want to connect with for at least as long as I’m campaigning for President. And by God, do I relate to the hardships of all economically struggling Average Jeromes and Janiquas across America.
I’ll never forget the day back in 1995, when I sat my wife, children and live-in-housekeeper Rosa down in our foyer, looked them in the eyes and let them know I had split ways with my partners at Second Republic Bank. I fought back tears as I informed Rosa she could either take a pay cut so we could continue to employ her or I would have to arrange her return to Mexico through the State Department. Ultimately, though, I just pray no other man ever has to explain to his 8-year-old girl that daddy’s severance package just won’t be enough to allow for the annual two-week Aspen ski trip this winter.
I’m sorry to get so personal, but I just want to share my real life designer-riches-to-store-brand-rags tale.
I sympathize with the impoverished and underserved of this great land because I lived among them. Heck, I recall nights I slept in my car with no place to go after finding out the Palm Springs JW Marriott had overbooked due to clerical errors. I’ve gained, like so many Americans, strength from these hardships, though. (Not to mention a shitload of Marriott Rewards Points that practically ensure I’m upgraded every time I stay at one of their fine resorts)
There’s just no other way to put it: I’m a poor American like the lot of you. I’m constantly refinancing and remortgaging my vacation homes to ensure I have a place to rest my head during federal holiday weekends. My wife hoards Bed, Bath & Beyond stamps, um, coupons to save a few bucks when she needs to do her bi-annual bathroom redecorations. Even right now, we’re living paycheck-to-paycheck depending on when I land my next one-off speaking engagement. It’s an unsteady lifestyle, but I take solace in knowing I’m not alone with my struggles in this great nation.
Like many of you eligible voters, these hard times have transformed me into the socioeconomically empathetic man I am today. While I could stand here for another hour or so and regale you with more tales of adversity overcome, it would probably spoil large chunks of my coincidentally timely new book, “Struggling for Change: Can You Spare Any?”
I look forward to meeting you all on the campaign trail, where I plan to swap stories with Americans of all desirable demographic creeds, races and, most vitally, economic backgrounds.
Thank you and God Bless America. Bloomin’ Onions on the campaign tab!
The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!