Kerry Chooses Horse 'Smarty Jones' As Running Mate

Though there has been endless speculation over a wide variety of possible vice presidential candidates for John Kerry to select, ranging from feasible choices like John Edwards and Dick Gephardt to long-shot dreams like Bill Clinton and the resurrected body of Teddy Roosevelt, Kerry has finally settled on a candidate, and it's one that few would have anticipated: popular racing horse Smarty Jones.

"Mr. Jones has the charisma and success that makes him a perfect candidate for my running mate," Kerry beamed in a recent press conference, patting Jones on his hindquarters. "With him on my team, there is no way I can lose to Mr. George W. Bush now."

Kerry admitted that Jones does not have much political experience, as horses are not yet permitted to hold political offices in any of the 50 states in the U.S., but vowed that he and Jones would one day change that.

"A horse is a person, too!" he shouted. "Well, not really. But they might be, if George W. Bush's oppressive administration hadn't taken away their rights!"

The presidential candidate added that although Jones may not have had much experience in the world of politics, he does have one important quality: popularity.

"This is one popular horse," Kerry said. "In fact, I think he is probably more popular than I am."

Indeed, when polled in an Enduring Vision/Gallup/Pepsi/Home Depot poll, 78% of Americans had heard of Jones, compared to the 38% who had heard of Kerry, although 68% admitted to knowing that "someone" was running against George W. Bush in the election; of those 68%, 7% believed that Jones was running against Bush.

Immediately after the announcement, giant clusters of animal rights activists and hippies in general gathered outside Kerry headquarters demanding "equal rights and nice treatment" for Jones.

"Horses hate racing, and the fact that Kerry is proud of the sick debauchery Smarty participates in is sick!" shouted one man. "In fact, horses often buck off their riders and kill them during the race -- that's how much they don't like it. You just don't see it on TV because the stations are anti-animal."

"What if a horse could eat you?" another man added wisely, nodding his head and looking wistfully into the distance. "Think about that, Mr. John 'Animal Oppressor' Kerry. Think about it very hard."

However, not everyone has reacted to Kerry's announcement negatively; many analysts applaud his choice of Jones as a running mate.

"Sure, Smarty Jones may be the flavor of the week, but hell, Kerry needs all the exposure he can get," said one pundit. "He sure hasn't got an identity right now, and he could do a lot worse in the minds of the voters than 'That guy who is friends with a champion horse'."

"Jones is a good choice -- a very good choice, since he's so popular," conceded another analyst. "I still say that Charles Manson would've been better, though. I mean, his name is probably more popular than Jones', and he was a pretty successful guy at what he applied himself at."

"I'm just saying, is all," the man added as some of the activists previously outside Kerry HQ began to swarm over to his house.

Sources deep in the White House say that President Bush is "troubled" by Kerry's decision, especially since his own current running mate, Dick Cheney, has questionable popularity and health.

"He's really been thinking about it," said one White House aid. "He even asked Dick the other day if he had ever run any horse races."

The aid further reported that when Cheney said that no, he hadn't ever run any horse races, Bush put a hand on his shoulder, looking him in the eye, and said, "Dick, I'd like you to go run one."

In the meantime, the source told us, the White House is planning to run ads calling Smarty Jones' horse racing record into question.

"Sure, Smarty Jones has been winning a lot of horse races lately," a preliminary draft of the commercial says, playing a clip of Jones running a race in slow motion. "But was it really him, or just a robot with the same name?"

But for now, the spotlight belongs to Kerry, as well as Jones, who fielded some questions at the press conference.

"What's your stance on the current situation in Iraq?" asked one journalist, who was kicked in the face by Jones seconds later.

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