Pardoning Heidi Fleiss, and other foibles of the celebrity president.

Thanks to Warren Beatty and Donald Trump, "Celebrity for President" has become quite the hot topic. And, because it's Bulworth and the Donald we're talking about here, "serious" journalists have had a field day dissing these dudes' White House aspirations.

This is all so shortsighted. Does anybody remember John Glenn, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, and Ronald Reagan? All celebrities—all elected to high public office. Celebrities can be president, too—it's a free country, after all. I just wish more of them would run. Imagine the entertainment if some of fame's stronger personalities rolled up on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Or relax—and just let me do the imagining for you. . . .

President John Turturro. The versatile Italian character actor is whisked into the White House with surprising support from the Christian right, who mistakenly thought he played Jesus Christ in The Big Lebowski (he actually played the eccentric supercocky bowler Jesus Martinez). They are quickly shown the error of their ways during Turturro's first State of the Union address, when he chastises Congress over their opposition to school prayer by telling them "don't fuck with the Jesus— nobody fucks with the Jesus!"

President Pete Rose. President Pete adamantly denies betting on the 1984 Republican primary, skips photo-ops at DC-area elementary schools to sign autographs at tribal casinos, and shuns Meet the Press in favor of hawking his "Pete's Porcelain" line of dinnerware on the Home Shopping Network.

President Sean "Puffy" Combs. Agrees to open government files on the Smalls-Shakur assassinations in 2025 and develops an annoying penchant for sampling Gerald Ford instead of delivering his own speeches.

President Tonya Harding. A veto is the best you can hope for when you mess with this feisty commander-in-chief's policy guidelines. An errant tax cut here, a pork barrel project there—and you can pretty much bet on a Secret Service Agent taking an ice pick to the rear of your kneecap before you can say "triple axle."

President Brad Pitt. Gets ratted out by Madeleine Albright after she walks in on a bare-chested brawl in the White House parking lot between Pitt and Dick Armey. A similar "fight club" is discovered in the Russell Senate Office Building, and Pitt is impeached just as FBI agents discover Congress' plan to set an arson fire in the shape of a smiley face on the Y Concourse of Reagan National.

President Charleton Heston. The NRA's senile movie-star frontman names a family of apes as his cabinet and orders Capitol laborers to paint the Washington Monument black, affix a trigger to the side, and shave the tip off so that it looks like the barrel of a gun.

President Werner Herzog. The uncompromising German filmmaker doesn't allow any artificial light at Rose Garden press conferences and holds Congressional leaders at gunpoint until they adopt his budget proposals.

President Martin Sheen. The White House's most prominent supporting actor (West Wing, American President) takes off for Camp David and lets his brat-pack sons house-sit for a weekend, returning to find Charlie's signature on pardons for Manuel Noriega and Heidi Fleiss, and the cast of The Breakfast Club partying like it's 1999 in the Lincoln Bedroom.

President Tom Clancy. The best-selling Hunt for Red October author skips his inaugural address to declare war on every country that "our goddamned submarines can get to before sundown." Also urges the Senate to adopt a resolution declaring permanently camo-clad psycho Saddam Hussein a "fashion god."

President Bette Midler. Replaces the national anthem with "Wind Beneath My Wings" and insists upon having Air Force One whisk her back and forth between all her election-night victory parties so she can be the only performer. There's only one show-tune superstar, baby—you got that, Streisand?

President Paul Reubens. The Presidential movie theater, normally reserved for exclusive sneak previews, becomes a cauldron of hot 'n' horny skin flicks. Reubens also insists upon the sale of all White House town cars and replaces them with a fleet of red granny bikes with clown-nose horns.

President George "The Animal" Steele. The former wrestler redirects government money earmarked for cancer research to laser body hair removal. The Animal then builds a state-of-the-art wrestling ring on top of the South Lawn's putting green and challenges Jesse Ventura to a cage match, with the winner taking the helm of the Reform Party.

President Liza Minelli. Declares bourbon and coffee the official "national drink" and orders all high schools to play five minutes of the Cabaret soundtrack every day in homeroom instead of flipping on Channel One.

President Oprah Winfrey. Expands her "Book of the Month Club" fad to Pennsylvania Avenue, allowing Starbucks to set up shop in the White House Visitors' Lobby and peddle Danielle Steele novels and Tiazzis. President Oprah don't like democracy, either (she's "The Oprah," after all), and pushes hard for a switch to dictatorship.

President Michael Jackson. "President Thriller" builds an indoor amusement park in the West Wing and lobbies Congress for loosening of child labor restrictions so he can hire five-year-old boys to care for his llamas.

 
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