Pope Francis just continues to amaze. First it was atheists could still go to heaven; then gays deserved love and respect; then his belief in evolution; and most recently, climate change is real and caused by humans. But the biggest shocker of them all came yesterday at a Vatican press conference. Pope Francis announced he is throwing his hat, well, Papal Tiara, into the ring for President of the United States in 2016! The news quickly spread like wildfire causing every declared, and undeclared, presidential hopeful to go into panic mode. Hillary Clinton, trying to put on a brave face, told reporters she welcomed the Holy Father into the race. “Should make for some Spirited debate” she went on to say.
Rand Paul was having none of it. His remarks about the Vicar of Christ entering the race were not so kind. “I just don’t know if it is constitutional for the Pope to run. After all he was not born in this country.” But the Pope’s newly-anointed campaign manager, Father Bruno Sarducci, revealed a fact very few know. “Yes, His Holiness was born in Argentina but his mother was born in Cleveland, Ohio. As such, he would be eligible to run. If a Cuban Canadian can run so can an Argentinean American.”
When he heard the news that the Bishop of Rome had declared his candidacy, Donald Trump immediately asked for an investigation into the Pope’s birth certificate. “With all due respect, like Saint Reagan used to say… trust but verify.”
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush had a different take on the Pope’s candidacy. “I think I heard the Pontiff plans to run as a third party candidate. Third party candidates rarely win elections in our country. I like my chances.”
When Father Bruno Sarducci was asked to confirm His Holiness would be running as a third party candidate, he answered, “Yes, it is true. Our Holy Father will run as a candidate for the Compassionate Conservative Party… the CCP, as we like to call it around the V.” The thinking is that since the moniker worked so well for the last self-identified compassionate conservative, you’ve got to like the chances of the real thing.
One immediate effect of the Pope’s announcement has been that any Democrat who had thoughts of entering the race, has suddenly thought twice. “ I might have had a chance in the primary against a woman who wears pantsuits,” said Martin O’Malley, “but there is no way in hell I could ever match the appeal of a man in a long white dress. No thank you, I’m staying out.”
Much of the news media has accepted Pope Francis’ announcement with great joy. Fox News, however, has found itself in a bind. Is the Pope a true conservative? Is he a liberal? Is he too compassionate? But one thing is clear, other than Rick Santorum, you will not find a more religious candidate. As Bill O’Reilly observed, “Many conservative candidates claim to talk to God on a regular basis, but give me a break. We’re talking about the Pope here, for Christ’s sake!”