A thousand clowns. No, I'm not talking about that terrific 1965 movie starring Jason Robards.
I'm talking about the original thousand clowns that would come pouring out of that impossibly small car at the circus.
The Federal Elections Commission maintains a list of people who have officially filed papers as presidential candidates, and as of today there are -- ready for this? -- a total of 255 of them.
The list includes the usual suspects, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, et al., but it also includes such household names as President Emperor Caesar, HRM Caesar St. Augustine de Buonaparte (presumably these two will split the Royalist vote), Jonathon The Impaler Sharkey, and even a guy named Verl (no relation) Farnsworth.
These are not just political dilettants. The bar is set high enough to weed out the merely frivolous:
- The individual has received contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000 or made expenditures aggregating in excess of $5,000; or
- The individual has given consent to another person to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of him or herself and that person has received contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000 or made expenditures aggregating in excess of $5,000 (11 CFR 100.3(a)).