WASHINGTON—Presidential hopefuls John McCain (R-AZ), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) announced Monday their plans to form what many Beltway observers have already dubbed the "2008 Nightmare Ticket," a calculated move that political analysts say offers voters the worst of both worlds.
After nearly a year of verbal attacks and negative campaign ads, the nominees announced that, for the good of the country, they were willing to push their differences to the forefront and grant the American people the ticket they've been dreading all along.
"No other ticket is capable of rallying this nation around a clearer, more unified message of chaos and hopelessness," the candidates said in unison from three separate podiums, each adorned with its own American flag arrangement and personal message. "Together, we will lead this nation into the future—a future where absolute deadlock over even the most minute decisions and total inefficiency on matters of the war, the economy, and the environment will launch a bold new age of confusion and social decay. For America, the only choice is [indecipherable]!"
The candidates said they had not yet decided who would fill the offices of president, vice president, and a new post the nominees are calling "the middle president." They did, however, confirm that each would choose his or her own full cabinet, would be able to veto any bills the others sign into law, and would reserve the right to cast the tie-breaking, tie-making, and tie-rebreaking votes in the Senate.
"This nightmare ticket presents the American people with an unprecedented lack of opportunity in 2008," Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote Tuesday. "For just one vote, citizens will get four years of McCain's brilliant temper, the incredible inexperience of Barack Obama, and the powerful two-headed monster of Hillary and Bill Clinton."
"It will be very exciting to see what they're capable of destroying, " Cohen added.
According to campaign managers, the triple ticket will run on a revolutionary new platform crafted during three highly contentious weeks in April.
At the top of the platform is a military strategy calling for the phased withdrawal of .000006 brigades from Iraq and Afghanistan every seven months over the next 350 years. Universal health care would also be provided, taken away on McCain's birthday, and then provided again only to those wealthy enough to afford it. Abortions would be made available on every other even-numbered Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST to all women who can prove residency in Alaska or Nevada. And an entirely new immigration policy will be instituted, sources said, as soon as the candidates can stand to be in the same room with one another for more than five minutes.
Aides to Sen. Clinton also confirmed that the trio plans to create two separate federal governments—one large and one small—which would be instituted within the first 100 days of the Clinton/McCain/Obama White House or, according to Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, the Obama/McCain/Clinton White House.
"Getting three political all-stars together like this is a clear lose-lose-lose situation for everyone involved," NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell said. "By themselves, none would have been capable of uniting the country. But the possibilities of what they could do together to drive it ever further apart are limitless."
A CBS News/New York Times poll taken after the announcement revealed that the nightmare ticket has invigorated almost all voters, inspiring blacks, whites, senior citizens, college graduates, liberals, conservatives, both blue-collar and white-collar workers, and military veterans alike to remain at home by the millions this November, exercising their American right not to vote.
"So now a vote for Clinton is also a vote for McCain and Obama?" 43-year-old West Virginia resident Joe Biller said. "Jesus Christ."
Added Biller. "Looks like I'll be going with Nader/LaRouche/Sharpton/Ventura/Edwards after all."