The Wacky World of Independent Candidates of 2008

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Every four years, it seems, the race for the Presidency spawns a kind of party atmosphere for a while where basically, everybody and his sister says that they're running for President. But besides the more popular third parties, such as Green and Libertarian, there's the great, vast array of the Independents. There is no "Independent party", exactly; you just announce your candidacy and do your best to run. And hope nobody runs an article like this one making fun of you.

Blake Ashby - website:

Slogan: "At least he tells the truth!" Points are due for sounding like a regular, ordinary citizen who's just fed up with the lousy system. However, the impression he leaves the public with is a "glasses-wearing geek" who depends on YouTube video clips too much and sounds too angry in text. He does, however, have his act mostly together, and is a pretty square "protest candidate". He may not win your vote, but he does have some intelligent views.

John Taylor Bowles - website:

Scary white-supremacist rantings framed in 1995 web-design standards complete with Comic-Sans fonts and cheap gif animations. Lots of swastikas if you scroll down. There now, hasn't he won your heart already? At least he's not shooting up high schools.

Cranky old man who's fed up with us all. Of course, a lot of us have a beef with the country, so we can sympathize. Even though he uses about 50 font styles and sizes mixed together to deliver his list of gripes with life in the United States in a single long, long, long page, we can relate. He must feel better having gotten all that off his chest.

Jack Grimes - website:

OK, we're pretty sure this guy's just putting us on. Something about the over-sized, cartoonish Trojan helmet he's wearing in the picture, plus the pentagram symbol, kinds tips us off. So, welcome to the home site of the "United Fascist Union", and read all about their, uh, views. If this is an intentional parody of a nutball Independent candidate, it's a pretty fair job. If it isn't, I don't want to know.

Thomas J. Kozee Jr. - website:

Not going to be called an "overachiever" any time soon. You go to this page, and immediately see the first thing wrong: the picture. We just can't trouble ourselves to get all dressed up for a campaign photo; jeans and a loud polo shirt will be just fine. Then I'll lean against this stack of filing cabinets and try to act like I know what's in them. Now write about ten paragraphs of text below it and conclude the call to action with a P.O. Box. There, we're done. That'll bring the voters running!

Brad Lord-Leutwyler - website:

He starts out fairly all right. Perhaps fresh out of college. Then you keep reading and it gets angrier, and angrier, and angrier... then he goes on about MySpace deleting his account, and he's angry about that, too. Then there's the YouTube videos, and the blogging in capital letters, then some more anger... I hope he gets a date or two out of it.

Michael Stephen Levinson - website:

Very obvious humor, as the whole site is just pictures of an old woman campaigning for her sonny boy, with a lot of pictures of killer whales and dolphins for some reason. Rave reviews for humor! Very well-done parody.

Joe Schriner - website:

"Average Joe" is a working-class man. He's been all across the land. He's so sincere, he's you... and you... and you... And there is is, pictured next to his maintenance van. Of course, he isn't going to a lot of trouble here. He's going to make it, based on his heartland family values alone! Go for it, Joe!

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