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Election 2008

Fake Calls from the Candidates

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Robo Phones
(Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP/Getty)
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It's the middle of the night. You're sound asleep and the phone rings. It's not an emergency -- just another automated "robocall" from a presidential candidate. But imagine what it would sound like if a real live candidate gave you a ring after hours. Weekend America asked some writers to do just that.

***

Hello, my name is Barack Obama, and I'd like to share a few ideas with you about my candidacy.

Hello? Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? Sorry, bad reception.

Anyway, let's start with the economy. When I am president, the first thing I will do is [unintelligible] interest rates.

Now, about foreign policy. I look forward to [unintelligible] treaties with [unintelligible] standing in the world.

Finally, in regards to health care, you can rest assured that I will [unintelligible] and the [unintelligible] everyone gets a pony. Now THAT'S change you can believe in.

***

Hi this is Barack Obama. Sorry to call you at bedtime. I'm exhausted too. I've been walking on water all day.

Sometimes, when I look out and the tens of thousands of adoring fans, mouths agape as clouds of gold billow from my honeyed lungs, I think to myself, "You know what I'm missing?"

Bill Johnson's vote. Bill Johnson you are my special friend and I need your support. You matter to me.

***

Hi I'm John McCain.

If you're hearing this then you've been identified as a conservative who doesn't think I'm conservative enough. First, I want to assure that you that this call was recorded by Americans in America.

You know what else is American? This whistle! Tweeeeeeeeeeeet!!

Wake up you chubby maggot and get thy butt down to the voting booth! You got a choice between me, Slim McLiberal and Goldilocks. Now am I conservative enough for you?

You little jerk.

***

Hi, this is maverick John McCain.

For years I've been building bridges in the senate and forging bipartisan solutions to the problems that face America. I've never been afraid to take an unpopular position, even in defiance of my own party. So, if you value free-thinking and open-mindedness, vote John McCain.

***

Hi, it's Hil.

Sorry to be calling late. Not gonna lie, I'm a little drunky Brewster.

What happened to us? We used to be like THIS. I used to be your one and only. You said it was inevitable that we would be together. What did I do that was so bad? How can I get you back?

Ok, listen. Give me a call sometimes. I gotta go. I love you -- I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that.

***

Operator: Collect call from Ralph Nader. Will you accept the charges?

***

Ron Paul here and I gotta be quick because the government's probably tapped this phone.

Sorry to wake you up. Were you dreaming of drugs and abortions? If I'm president you won't have to dream. Do you like taxes?

What are you stoned? If you are that's fine by me. But taxes? Shut up.

Ron Paul for president. Do you hear black helicopters? I gotta go.

***

Hey - You up? Yeah? It's Mike Huckabee.

Is there some chance I could still, uh, stick around? I realize it's not technically campaigning. And I wouldn't even want people to vote for me necessarily.

Or maybe if it were a vote, it would be done on paper, and kind of ceremonially tossed into an old shoe box. Hush Puppies. So, what I'm driving at is, do you have an old shoe box?

Yep, I know it sounds weird. Why am I even calling?

Hey, just wanted to know if you saw me on SNL? Compare that performance to my "cheesehead" joke during my concession speech.

Okay, night night.

***

Writers: Brendan Newnam, Rico Gagliano, Jeff Johnson, Matthew Baldwin.

More stories from our Election 2008 series

Comments

  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Patty Kaminski

    From Milwaukee, WI, 03/04/2008

    I thought it was hilarious! I was laughing outloud alone in my car.

    By Joy Anderson

    From Kent, WA, 03/03/2008

    Like many others I was unhappy with the sexist portrayal of Hillary Clinton. I was surprised to hear that truly biased point or view on your show. Hillary Clinton has endured so many of the sexist stereotypical jokes and comments. Whether she is one's candidate of choice or not, a fair person would have to agree that many of criticisms are clearly about her being a woman and not about her stands on issues or her plans. So much for fair play.

    By Shaun Dakin

    From Alexandria, VA, 03/03/2008

    Hi,

    Not bad, but the reality is that these robo calls are a real invasion of privacy for American voters.

    As I testified at the US Senate hearings last week, over 80% of Iowa voters received robo calls last November.

    These calls are an epidemic and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

    Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at StopPoliticalCalls.org.

    Here is a quote from a member this morning:

    "I find it very frustrating... I tend to get calls at the WORST time. I have a one year old daughter, and it NEVER fails that the phone will ring when I put her down for a nap or for bed. Also my vote is PRIVATE... so who do you think you are calling with a survey to find out who I am voting for!!! Stop calling me."

    Regards,

    Shaun Dakin
    CEO and Founder
    http://www.stoppoliticalcalls.org

    By Paul Wenzel

    From Minneapolis, MN, 03/03/2008

    While I found the piece generally funny, I am growing tired of the Hillary crying jokes. Can't we find any better critiques of her character or capabilities as a candidate?

    Seriously.

    By Jack Vining

    From Baltimore, MD, 03/02/2008

    I it very offensive and plainly sexist in its depiction of Sen. Clinton as a crying girl. I hope your program will quickly issue an apology to both Sen. Clinton and your listeners for your poor judgment.

    By Alice Shipman

    From Charlottesville, VA, 03/01/2008

    Wow - what a misogynist and boring piece! You didn't include the crying baby Hillary one, which was extra-awful. (To be fair, the written version isn't nearly as bad, since the quavering voice is omitted.) There are so many good reasons to mock the candidates, and the idea behind this is great, however, the execution is reminiscent of the worst SNL skits that never saw air. Lastly, Ron Paul is *very* pro-life - if you're going to have a long and excruciatingly unfunny piece, getting the facts straight would be a small mercy.

    I'm hardly ever this blunt, but listening to this was incredibly jarring and unpleasant - here's hoping the next round of submitted jokes has a few more winners.

    By Brian Vats-Fournier

    From Faribault, MN, 03/01/2008

    I thought this was funny and even-handed in its attempt to deliberately misrepresent every one of the candidates still campaigning. Perhaps Scrooge could lighten up...

    By Chuck G

    From Southfield, MI, 03/01/2008

    This show was a stitch! For the first time, we get to hear what the candidates (might) really want to say. I wanted to hear more - the only reason I'm on this page is that I just didn't get enough on the radio.

    By Andrew F

    From Minneapolis, MN, 03/01/2008

    Love Weekend America; feel like Scrooge saying this: "Real Calls from the Candidates" segment was terribly non-funny and excruciatingly long. Can I turn my radio back on now?
    The rest of the show was great as usual - thanks.
    -Andrew F
    Minneapolis

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