Decision 2008
The 'Hollywood' election

By the Approximated Press
November 5, 2008

See also...
... by Jenn Shreve
... in the Dirt section
... from November 3, 1999
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In what is being declared by Reform Party members as a landslide victory, Oprah Winfrey was elected the first female, African-American, third-party president in U.S. history. She and vice president Edward Norton garnered 52 percent of the vote and will be sworn in this January.

Winfrey, at 312 lbs., has also inched out William Howard Taft as the heaviest president in American history. She has made repeated campaign promises to lose 200 lbs. of it by the end of her first year in office, using diet supplements and the ever popular "Drink Cottage Cheese 'Til You Can't Stop Vomiting" diet.

While Winfrey was, at first, a reluctant candidate, her talk show-esque campaigning style quickly won the hearts and votes of the American people. Norton's charming but timid smile and ability to play just about any second-rate role handed to him is said to have boosted her popularity among those who waited until the very last minute to make their Decision 2008.

"America wanted a president that knew how to listen to them. Oprah has a proven track record of listening to both sides of an argument and appearing to really care," remarked Winfrey's press secretary, Joan Rivers, from the jubilant Winfrey for President headquarters in Chicago. "Of course, she's too fat and looks awful in fuchsia," Rivers added, "but what can you do? What? What! Oh my gawd, is that Claire Danes? Excuse me."

Winfrey was the only third-party candidate with enough charisma and name recognition to challenge the star-studded tickets of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Senator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ran for president on the GOP ticket with Bruce Willis, walked away with a robust 31 percent of the vote. While serving in the Senate, the charismatic action star successfully led a campaign to overturn the Constitutional article that required presidential candidates be born in the United States.

The Democrats' Warren Beatty-Barbra Streisand ticket, which had once seemed unbeatable, went down in flames with a piddling 12 percent of the vote. The remaining 5 percent was divided between other third-party candidates: Ross Perot (Crazy Aunt Party), Ralph Nader (Kill All Capitalists Party) and Donald Trump (I Trumped Your Mama Party).

Beatty, who has been referring to himself as "the other black presidential candidate," an allusion to his role as a black-sympathizing senator in the 1998 film Bulworth, expressed relief that it was Winfrey and not Schwarzenegger who won.

"With Winfrey at the helm of this country, we are at least coming closer to the multicultural vision of reality that I and my party stand for," he said in a concession speech, from his sprawling Los Feliz mansion.

At Reagan Ranch, Schwarzenegger, flanked by his wife Maria Schriver -- who is a Kennedy, in case Barbara Walters hasn't mentioned it enough times -- had but three words on his defeat: "Ah'll be bock." Barbra Streisand locked herself in her New York penthouse, and was unavailable for comment. According to neighbors, she's been singing "The Way We Were" at the top of her lungs for the past 16 hours.

"With Hollywood types, you can expect a little added drama," noted CNN White House correspondent Mary Hart, formerly of Entertainment Tonight. Giggling like an undisciplined, love-struck schoolgirl, Hart added, "Finally, politics that everyone can enjoy. There's glamour, sex, scandal, plot! Oooooh! It's going to be a great four years!"

But aside from shedding a few tears for the camera, Winfrey appeared to prefer message to emotion. In her acceptance speech, filmed before a live studio audience and accompanied by original music from Celine Dion, Winfrey reiterated her campaign promises to lose 200 pounds in her first year and make her popular book club selections mandatory reading in public schools.

"America has spoken. They have said that they want me to lead them. Well, I'm listening America. Tell me what you want me to do next," she declared before leaping off the stage to solicit audience responses. Norton, best known for his roles as a Nazi with a heart of gold and a boxing nihilist, held her mic and looked adorable.

The real victor in this election, of course, is the Reform Party, which has been trying to get someone -- anyone! -- in the White House since Ross Perot founded the party in 1992.

In 2004, the feisty third party placed their hopes on Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. But their hopes were crushed when Ventura was accidentally turned into a human vegetable during a tragic World Wrestling Federation-Reform Party fund-raising event. According to doctors, Hulk Hogan kept Ventura in a tight headlock just five grueling minutes too long. Ventura is still holding office in Minnesota, despite his inability to breathe without machines.

Desperate, the Reform Party turned to Winfrey, whose Nielson ratings had taken a nosedive following her latest weight gain. Although she hesitated at first, Winfrey was eventually persuaded after the Party offered her a lifetime supply of Heath Bars and unlimited power to heal the American people.

The greatest criticism of Winfrey's candidacy -- and indeed this entire election season -- has been leveled by the ragtag group called Politics First. Led by 105-year-old long-time Sen. Strom Thurmond, (R-S.C.), Politics First has denounced what they see as the "Hollywoodization" of public service.

"They may have won the battle, but they haven't won the war," declared Thurmond in a rousing press conference held on the Senate steps. "We're going to fight to the bitter end to make our nation's capitol safe once more for greed, corruption, and butt-ugly white men in suits."

Thurmond refused to comment on rumors that his organization was hatching a secret plot to unleash the country's entire nuclear arsenal on Universal Studios.

Winfrey campaign director Joan Rivers responded to his comments with this curt statement: "That Strom Thurmond is such a sour pussy. And where, I ask, did he learn to dress? That suit is so 1918. I don't see why he wants to take politics back to the dark ages. At least with Hollywood celebrities running, people pay attention to elections again. Who wants legislation when you can have glamour, gossip, and stars?"

Jenn Shreve is a freelance writer in San Francisco and a media columnist for

Jenn's column runs every other Wednesday on GettingIt.