Stump Speech

Fall 2004

Thank you. Thanks to all of you for being here. I'd like to thank, above all, Ed Petroski and his wife Sharon, for helping to organize this. The decorations are just wonderful, and to see so many people here, in bright purple sombreros, it reminds me of how hard our people are working at the grassroots level.

But this is not all about sombreros, or purple margaritas, or campaign sarapes. This is a time to talk about issues. Issues that my opponents so often ignore. They don't want to talk issues. They want to talk about cutting taxes, or giving away more government money that we don't have. But what I want to know, what the PEOPLE want to know, is: Why don't they have stumps?

(Wait for applause?)

Why don't they have stumps? They will not say. Have they not experienced shark attacks? I have. They laughed at a man who dared to swim off the coast of Florida, with raw steak tied to his legs. With each margarita, their taunts became more fierce. They said I would not collect on that bet, that it was made in a drunken haze, that no man could last 30 minutes. And they were correct. Within 5 minutes my left leg was gone, as well as my dreams of $25 and a night away from the YMCA. But from that painful experience comes my knowledge or our nation's serious shark menace. Does Sen. Kerry have plans to deal with our shark problem? No, he'd rather talk about health care, and not even the important kind of health care that would allow doctors to attach a dead man's leg to a recent shark attack victim. That is the healthcare I promise you.

(More applause.)

Why don't they have stumps? Have they not run afoul of poorly made fireworks? (Applause). I have. Can they understand the pain of a 34 year old man, crawling through the streets of Ciudad Juarez, trying to find two missing fingers after a St. Patrick's Day celebration gone wrong? That man is a part of every American, especially those who purchased what looked like an M-80 from what appeared to be a hot dog cart. But Sen. Lieberman would rather vote for NAFTA, and allow those shoddily made Mexican fireworks to fall into the soon-to-be-mutilated hands of America's youth. If this is globalization, then, Mr. Lieberman, I wish I still had my middle finger, so that I might give it to you.

(Wait for laughter.)

Why don't they have stumps? Have they not lost money gambling on the Minnesota Vikings? (Wait for applause.) I have. Do not take the points, they told me, we know it's the Cardinals, but the Vikings do not play well on the road. Well, America doesn't play well on the road -- that's right, I'm talking about Iraq -- but I'd still bet on America. So as a man of deep faith, and as a man behind on his car payments, I bet on the Vikings. And bookies did take my car, and cut off my arm. And that's why I understand the plight of the poorer, unemployed American, who must bet on football to pay off his Camry and maybe have some extra money on the side for blow. Does a fat-cat doctor like Howard Dean understand what it means to have no job, or a crippling drug habit? I want an economic recovery to help every man, not just the two-armed, two-legged wealthy, with their long-sleeved shirts and Segway scooters.

My opponents call me irresponsible and unserious. But should we truly wish to find the irresponsible, then I point the two remaining toes on my right foot at them. All along, I've believed in addition through subtraction. My sacrifices have prepared me to lead this nation. And as long as I have body parts to give, including my vestigial tail, I will fight for this country, and I will fight for you.

(turn to Ed)

High Five!

(wait for laughter)

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