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For protestors who have been saying they want "anyone but Bush" in office, there might be another option besides John Kerry. No, not Ralph Nader, but a little-known contender starting a grassroots


campaign in his hometown of New York City. The namesake of the position he seeks, Mister President has the potential of a born leader. The Black Table caught up with this young hopeful -- and Mr. President's press handler and translator Joy Parisi -- near the first dog run in Tompkins Square Park.

BT: Mister President, you have the perfect name for the job. But what qualifications do you have to lead our nation? Have you held any leadership positions in your career?

Mr. P: When I walk into a room, it's pretty clear

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who's the top dog. And even though I have not held an elected office, I believe Americans want someone who's not afraid to go after what they believe in with an iron will and determination. I always say, a treat in the hand is as good as two in my mouth. But you don't have to take my word for it. Ask any squirrel in the East Village.

BT: Why have you decided to run as a third-party candidate?

Mr. P: Unfortunately, neither Democrats nor Republicans are ready to see a dog in the White House … never mind a black dog. That's why I've formed the Canine Reform Party. It's estimated that there


Party Affiliation: Canine Reform Party.

Current Occupation: Commander in Chief, Tompkins Square Dog Run.

Education: Masters in Obedience


are more than 60 million dogs in the US, all of them without rights or representation. The party and my campaign is an attempt to raise awareness and change all that.

BT: Despite all of the political rhetoric of improvements in the economy, jobless claims continue to rise. How do you propose to turn the economy around?

Mr. P: In order to turn around the economy, we need to start using under-utilized resources. There are 60 million canines out there, and the majority of them are ready and willing to work. This would be a huge boost to the workforce as well as improve working conditions. Think about it. A dog working side by side with you on the assembly line? Your day would go by faster, and your workload would be greatly decreased.

BT: "Homeland security" remains one of the most pressing issues. What would you propose to make our country more secure?



Mr. P: This goes back to all those under-utilized resources I was talking about. Dog labor. There are maybe one million working dogs. That leaves 59 million more dogs ready and willing to protect, serve and guard! Homeland security starts at home - your home!

BT: If elected, how would you plan to turn Iraq back over to the Iraqi people?

Mr. P: I would begin canine negotiations immediately. This is a tactic used to settle disputes in the dog run all the time. Dogs that challenge one another meet cheek to cheek. If they cannot agree on who is top dog, they release their scents and try to determine it that way. If that still does not settle the dispute, we use a heated and thorough chase. This could take up to an hour, but there is always a winner in the end.

BT: What is your stance on education? The environment?

Mr. P: Humans would greatly benefit from obedience training and human good citizen classes. This would help them have a more well-rounded view of the world, to see things from a dog's perspective and learn to treat their neighbors with respect. We could all use some good citizen training in the world.

In terms of the environment, I've been struggling with waste management issues and disputes in my community for a long time. Dogs kill trees and flowers; there's no getting around that. But we have to respect the natural order and have faith in the natural regeneration of things. What's a tree doing in the East Village anyway?


Mister President will continue to campaign in the East Village and around protest sites this week.