In this installment, Mike helps Mike Huckabee.
21st Century Americans are global citizens, drinking in news of world events with their shade-grown morning brew. Between weather and traffic reports, our big-screen Chinese TVs show us a world in ferment. We stare in shock and recognition at news events in countries we know well from the labels in our favorite garments. Can Democracy flourish in these far-off lands? Will Gap have to make those pants somewhere else?
Every four years, U.S. citizens survey contenders for the Highest Office in the Free World and think, “What’s with that hair?” They also wonder who best can cope with situations where the slightest diplomatic misstep could bring higher prices at Wal-Mart or cut off our crucial flow of baseball All-Stars from the Caribbean and Japan.
There is one essential commodity that cannot be imported, something fundamental to our American Way Of Life: billions of dollars in campaign contributions. Fundraising helps the average voter differentiate between primary candidates – the one with most money must be best, right?
Campaign funds allow candidates to personally robo-call each and every household with people old enough to still have phones connected with wires. It underwrites our beloved broadcasting, bumper-sticker and direct mail industries. Without our system of campaign contributions lobbyists could not convince our leaders how safe their industries are, thereby saving taxpayers the cost of needless inspections.
Recognizing the need for new sources of campaign funds, I have pledged to devise personalized fundraising alternatives for all the major Democrats and Republicans running in the Presidential primaries. This also gives me a good reason for not donating any of my own cash. So far I have advised Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former Senator Fred Thompson (R-NBC), Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM), Senator John McClain (R-AZ), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10), former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R – hah!- NYC) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). They must all be too busy following my advice to thank me. Sniff. Nevertheless, I shall continue.
This week I’ll help Mike Huckabee.
Republican Mike Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas and is married with four children too old to make cute campaign photos. He is a former Baptist Pastor, has lost 110 pounds, completed four marathons and written five books. Maybe he can be elected anyway.
While Governor, Mike Huckabee was on the Southern Technology Council, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and he plays bass guitar in a rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense. Hmm. Can he really play bass? Oh, right, his brother Dan is that great DobroTM player in Austin, and Mike’s band has opened for Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band. Governor Huckabee got an award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for promoting music education.
Okay, if we apply my special Al-Gore-rhythm to turn the Governor’s health policy record into environmentalism, we have something to work with.
Governor Huckabee, sell this electric bass:
This is the first Gas-Electric Hybrid Bass, with flex-fuel capability. As you can see, I have roughed the design out of available parts, but that gives it some extra charm.
Normal string vibration and playing motion move the instrument enough to transmit pulsations over the flexible spring shaft (this one is from a plumbing auger) attached to the tailpiece, which imparts motion to the electric generator which powers the bass amp. During times of relative inactivity, while playing waltzes or during the (sigh) drum solo, the gas- or ethanol-powered engine kicks in to keep electricity flowing to the amp. You can get more gigs per gallon if you play Rock or lots of two-steps, but this unit has a much smaller energy footprint than a typical bass rig.
This high-end product is perfect for the ecology-minded pro and (of course) garage-band players everywhere, and should get attention from your friends in NAMM and the power industry. Selling the Huckabee Hybrid Gas-Electric Bass may not get you the Nobel Prize, Governor, but it should raise enough money to rock you through the primaries and let you boogie down at the White House.
Images by Mike Licht, whose 1954 Kay bass gets wired into huge sound systems that other people have to carry.