Pinch of Salt Graphic (English)

All's right with the world again, or it soon will be.

Bernie Sanders is running for president.

He announced his intentions Tuesday morning. He joins 10 other Democrats who have declared they are ready to make America sane again. (Yes, I know Bernie's technically an independent, but he runs as a Democrat so he'll have at least a slight chance in the general election.)

The last time I checked the calendar, we are 20 months or so away from the next Presidential election, and still more than a year away from the all-important New Hampshire primary. It's a pretty safe bet that more candidates, maybe a dozen more, will rise up before the first vote is cast.

Everyone knows that it takes two years to run a successful Presidential campaign, right? It's all about name recognition, and the longer you have your name before the public, the more people will get to know it.

Which is why, gentle readers, I am announcing today that I am a candidate for the office of the President of the United States. Not only do I believe I am more qualified for the job than some who have had it before me, my name is Harry — and one of our greatest presidents was named Harry, too.

You might wonder how effective this announcement will be as it is being made in a little personal column. Well, people already have made announcements on YouTube, late night television talk shows, even Twitter. A column ought to work, too.

I'm pledging right now that I won't accept any PAC money, or corporate money, or billionaire money, or your money. I don't need no stinkin' money. I can make my own yard signs, and I'll stand on the street corner — not asking for money, but explaining how I'll pay for universal healthcare by collecting returnable soda bottles.

And I'll use my amazing media platform. It doesn't cost anything to spout off on the internet, and I have my very own Facebook page. What more do I need?

I'm patterning my effort after that famous former politician, Pat Paulsen. For you youngsters out there, Paulsen began running for president in 1968, and didn't stop until 1996. He did take a few elections off to recharge his batteries, but I know I waited for his campaign announcement every four years.

I have some experience in politics, too. I haven't been the perennial candidate some of my Long Beach acquaintances have become, but I did run a heck of a campaign once.

It was 1980, and my son Alex had been born the year before. We lived in a little mining town named Creede in Colorado. It was so little it didn't have a city government (Mineral County took care of that stuff), but it did have a school board. So it made all the sense in the world to me that I should be serving on that board.

It didn't matter to me that I'd only lived in Creede for a couple of years, and didn't even know my next door neighbor's name. It was clear by just looking at me I was brighter than most and willing to bring needed change to the school everyone went to.

I finished fifth of five candidates. For four seats. I did break into double figures, but it was in the teens if I recall.

But that was almost 40 years ago. I'm a lot smarter now.

And that's why I'm asking, no, expecting, your support in my quest to be our next President.

Thank you, and God Bless America.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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