Throw your vote away with...
The M*A*S*H Party (TMP)
|Alan Alda || 4156 - for President|
|Loretta Swit || 3229 - for Vice President|
|Mike Farrell || 3167|
|Jamie Farr || 2408|
|David Ogden-Stiers || 2376|
|Harry Morgan || 2305|
The M*A*S*H party seemed to be the party of unity, the party of solidarity, the legendary "big tent" talked about in hushed tones in Republican days of yore. But as the campaign ground on, the smiles became more and more forced, and it was evident the political landscape was quaking to beat the Richter scale.
No one can deny the tensions that broke out between the "old school" M*A*S*H folk, those who were with the series from the start (Alda, Swit, Farr) and the "new school" johnny-come-latelies (Ogden-Stiers, Morgan, Farrell). The tensions ran high at times, held in place at first only by party loyalty, but then later by the fact the vote went against every single new schooler. They might have replaced Frank Burns, Henry Blake and Trapper John on the show, but never in the hearts of the great TV watching electorate. "We hate change," came the hue and cry from the great semi-washed, semi-literate, semi-wasteland and the new schoolers swallowed their pride and renewed their loyalty to the greater M*A*S*H cause.
From there, Alda took a commanding lead and never looked back. He never had to, as no one got close enough for him to notice. The real battle here was for second place, the vp slot, and a grueling trial by earth, wind and fire it was. The candidates stumped and slogged vote by vote, the new leader in the polls changing almost daily. In the end, Swit managed to widen her lead and distance herself from the pack. It might have been the "woman" thing. Her only real competition proved to be new schooler Mike Farrell, and as they battled, the rest resigned themselves to jockeying for cabinet positions in the potential new M*A*S*H regime. Swit fought off a last minute rally by Farrell supporters and once again the old schoolers proved triumphant as she tasted sweet second place victory after a bitter battle that left a bad taste in some mouths.
Jamie Farr's dream of seeing a Lebanese-American, namely himself, on the set of the White House, now lies in pieces. He was a character actor Icarus who flew too high towards the sun of a starring role, only to have the electoral wax holding together the feathers of his grassroots support melt away like so much political morning dew, and he plummeted to earth, flailing and kicking and screaming obscenities in Toledo-accented Lebanese. It's a sad story, one appropriate for Parade magazine. But not here, so we'll move on.
The Alda/Swit ticket has all the hallmarks of another great liberal ticket: Mondale/Ferraro. What with the thing where one of them is a guy and the other one is a lady. Cough. But can M*A*S*H magic make it work this time? Alda has more charisma than Mondale, but so does a dead carp. And while Alda/Swit can easily beat the Dead Carp Party, can they tackle the SOOP and H-DOOP and SOSO Party? Maybe. M*A*S*H memories run deep and clear in hearts and minds of the TV generation. A few fistfuls of Emmys also add heavy drama weight to what could be a pair of sitcom lightweights. And that episode where they make out with each other could also spark rumors, innuendo and other helpful publicity.
In the final cut, any third party is seen as cut-rate and has its work cut out for it to prove it's a cut above. Now that the M*A*S*Hers are the FOURTH party, they've got even more work cut outting to do. Good thing you're used to a war, guys ... cause you're gonna get one.
Any good election needs a fringe, no-chance-in-hell, gadfly party. In the course of our research for this project we found a bizarre connection between some candidates: they had all been regulars on the sitcom M*A*S*H. This made for a very convenient third-party grouping. Thus, we present the loony left, radical right, eco-green, flat taxing, bleeding-heart libertarianish M*A*S*H Party, the party that will not stand in America's way, should it return to greatness:
born in South St. Paul, Minnesota, Feb. 6, 1939 6' 3"
Presidential Qualifications: Played President Kennedy in J.F.K.: A One-Man Show
Strength: Served as rank in Captain in Korean War for 8 years ( M*A*S*H* 1975-1983)
Crime and Justice
Weakness: Under suspicion of having stolen valuable super-advanced android. (The Questor Tapes)
Strength: Lovable Rhode Island veterinarian (Providence) People love cute animals!
Weakness: Actress wife Shelley Fabares involved with McLean Stevenson sitcom "Hello Larry." As any good Gen Xer can tell you, post-MASH McLean Stevenson sitcoms were the kiss of death to all involved.
Weakness: Produced Patch Adams. 'nuff said.
photo from www.mash4077.co.uk
Born Harry Bratsburg 10 April 1915, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Presidential Qualifications: Played Harry S. Truman in Backstairs at the White House
Strength: Served in Korean War, rank of Colonel ( M*A*S*H* 1975-1983) also served in the cavalry in WWI.
Crime and Justice
Strength: Straight-up, no-nonsense, by-the-book police detective for 3 years (Dragnet 1967-1970). Later promoted to Captain. ("Dragnet" 1987)
Weakness: Con man and father of a magician ("Blacke's Magic")
Strength: Cowboy (many, many movies)
Weakness: Usually a bad cowboy. (many, many movies)
David Ogden Stiers
Born October 31, 1942, Peoria, Illinois, USA
Presidential Qualifications: Played President Roosevelt in Day One and in J. Edgar Hoover
Strength: Served in Korean War, rank of Major ( M*A*S*H* 1977-1983)
Weakness: Nobody liked him in the Korean War.
Weakness: His involvement in a sex scandal while governor of Georgia uncovered by crack investigative journalist Rodney Dangerfield. ("Meet Wally Sparks")
Crime and Justice
Weakness: As district attorney, kept losing cases in a string of endless 80's Perry Mason TV reunion movies.
Strength: Played Benjamin Franklin, a beloved founding father of our country (Taking Liberty)
Weakness: Extremely out of touch with his suicidal son. Could cost him the youth vote. (Better Off Dead)
Weakness: Recently suffered from a bout of insanity (Two Guys and a Girl)
Born Jameel Joseph Farah July 1, 1936, Toledo, Ohio, USA
Presidential Qualifications: NONE
Strength: Served in Korean War, rank of Corporal/Sergeant ( M*A*S*H*)
Weakness: Tried to get out of army by dressing in women's clothing.
Strength: Rich Arab Sheik (Cannonball Run I and II)
Weakness: Rich Arab Sheik (Cannonball Run I and II)
Strength: Served minor role in the life of Christ. (The Greatest Story Ever Told)
Weakness: Served as panelist on the The $1.98 Beauty Show
Strength: C'mon! It's Jamie Fuckin' Farr!!