Like some of you, I listened to the Public Advocate debate this weekend. Hearing the debate and seeing Mark Green run again for his old office reminded me of a famous Saturday Night Live sketch. It was 1988, shortly before the New Hampshire primary. The SNL sketch was a debate between the Republican contenders. It was most memorable as the first time Dan Ackroyd did his Bob Dole impression nationally and Al Franken tried out his Pat Robertson. Nora Dunn, playing Rep. Pat Schroeder, was the moderator. The last question to the candidates was, "you're all bright, articulate spokesmen for your party. But only one of you can be the nominee. Would you accept the number two spot on the ticket?" Each candidate in order mocked the position and derisively scorned the notion of serving as Vice President. Bob Dole added, "the only person I can think spineless enough to want the job would be my good friend George Bush."
Then she came to Bush, who said he wouldn't rule it out. "I'd make a damn good vice president. I've been there, I've done it - for eight years - and I could do it or eight more." Now that to me was one of the funniest bits in a sketch that was already hilarious. It's commonly accepted in American politics - or used to be - that nobody really wants to be Vice President. Mondale, Gore and Cheney have changed that view somewhat but conventional wisdom still held in 1988. And here was Bush, having done the number two job for eight long years, saying he'd do it again for eight more. And what's more he admits it in a presidential debate.
Now here you have Mark Green saying essentially the same thing. Isn't his whole candidacy premised on the Bush/Carvey line, "I've been there, I've don't it - for eight years - and I could do it for eight more." Except he's not running to return to the majesty and power of the Vice Presidency of the United States. He wants to reclaim a job that only exists because the powers that be (county bosses) who amended the City Charter after it was ruled unconstitutional agreed to save a job for Andrew Stein. That is the sole reason that position exists.
I think Mark Green's candidacy is pitiable. He has become the living embodiment of the caricature that Dana Cavey tried to turn George Bush into 21 years ago. The difference of course being that George Bush never wanted to be V.P. a second time. That would have been mockable. Mark Green does want to be Public Advocate again. And that's just sad.