Walk on the wild side
'Lesser-known candidates sprinkle glitter, thorium'
Vermin Supreme will be on the Democratic ballot Jan. 10, but he's actually a fascist, he said at a forum for lesser-known presidential candidates at Saint Anselm College last night.
"I am a tyrant that you should trust, and you should let me run your life because I, too, know what is best for you," Supreme said to about 100 people at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
Supreme, 62, of Rockport, Mass., has made a name for himself since 2004 running on a platform of giving a pony to every American and mandatory oral hygiene - "strong teeth for a strong America." Even in a crowded room, he's hard to miss, wearing a black rubber boot on his head. But one of Supreme's most distinctive accessories - a Hulk fist over his crotch - was nowhere to be seen last night. He said he wanted to show some decorum at the college.
Supreme was certainly the best known of the nearly 20 candidates, and some voters said they attended just to meet him.
"I want my pony," said Babz McGovern, who said she lives in an RV and is registered to vote in Massachusetts. She said she used to be a Republican but wrote in Supreme's name in the last two elections.
Katie Ferrara, a 28-year-old teacher's aide in Manchester, also came to see Supreme. She's affiliated with the Occupy New Hampshire movement and said she's seen him at some of the events. Ferrara said she was a little surprised that the candidates last night took a more earnest approach than Supreme, who said a vote for him is "a vote completely thrown away."
"They are taking themselves seriously," she said.
The event devoted an hour to Republican candidates and an hour to Democratic ones. Because candidates had only two minutes for opening statements and 45 seconds to answer questions, they focused on the issues most important to them.
For Randall Terry, of Purgitsville, W.Va., those issues are ending abortion and gay marriage.
"We will never restore the greatness of this nation as long as we are killing our own offspring," he said. And states' rights don't apply.
"The founders gave us the Tenth Amendment to prevent the federal government from micromanaging the vast majority of details that would affect us as a country. However, they never could have conceived of a moment in which we would become so debauched that we would elevate homosexual marriage or civil unions to the level of marriage," Terry, who is running as a Democrat, said.
"There's some things that are fundamentally evil, like slavery and there is no state right to hold another human being, there is no state right to kill your offspring, there is no state right to have homosexual marriage," he said.
At the end of the event, Supreme sprinkled glitter on Terry.
"He's turning gay, he's turning gay, whoooooo!" Supreme trilled.
Tim Brewer, of Dayton, Ohio, is running to offer voters "the best of both worlds."
"I had an unexpected near-death experience when I was 25," he said. He also had a calling from his "inner thought."
"This year, the experts said a life after death is possible. What does that mean to you? You can't be destroyed, everybody lives forever. I offer you the best way to communicate forever. Everything I offer you can be measured," Brewer said.
For his part, Hugh Cort, of Birmingham, Ala., is trying to prevent Iran from sending voters into the hereafter.
"I'm running for president to warn Americans about a huge impending danger," he said. "Hear this America, and hear it well." Iran must be stopped from having a nuclear weapon, he said.
"Google Hugh Cort American Hiroshima," he repeated several times.
Wearing a white turtleneck with a pumpkin embroidered on his collar, Edward O'Donnell Jr., of Wilmington, Del., is against violence of all kinds.
"We need kindness, mercy, tolerance, friendliness, forgiveness, second chances and old-fashioned manners," O'Donnell said. "No guns." In a later show of hands, O'Donnell was the only Democrat in favor of eliminating the Second Amendment. The Republicans weren't asked that question.
Bob Greene, who holds a doctorate in physics, offered a 1,000-year energy plan based on thorium, a radioactive chemical. An amount the size of a golf ball, Greene said, would be enough for a single American's energy needs over a lifetime.
"We need to send a message to the politicians that they have to talk seriously about energy, and they're not doing that today," Greene said.
"If they have any discussion that doesn't include the word 'thorium,' then you have not heard a serious energy discussion," he said.
Three of the candidates had New Hampshire ties: Jeff Lawman of Derry; Benjamin Linn of Milford; and Chris Hill, who lists Prospect, Ky., as his home now but who is from Bedford.
"We're called the lesser-known candidates," Hill said. "Well tonight we stand for the lesser-known Americans. They're people who've lost their voice."
All of the candidates were men.
If they had one thing in common, it was disapproval of President Obama, who was too liberal for the Republicans and not liberal enough to most of the Democrats.
The debate topics covered many of the same issues as those featured in the national debates: health care reform, the gap between rich and poor, immigration.
Only three of the Democrats said they'd support Obama in the event their presidential bids fail.
"I'm going to write myself in, I'm the best candidate," Terry said.
"I'll be writing in Randall Terry also," Supreme said.
That was before he dumped the glitter.
(Molly A.K. Connors can be reached at 369-3319 or email@example.com.)