The Ugliest Presidential Campaign of All Time

By Clint McElroy

Last Laugh

If you haven’t made up your mind yet when it comes to the presidential election, please allow me to offer up a suggestion. Write in … me!

I am the only candidate who can honestly say he or she has previously been elected to the presidency – the senior class presidency of my high school.

If you think the campaign between Trump and Clinton has been venomous and ugly, you should have seen the titanic struggle between Jeff Grubb, Dennis Wheeler and Clint McElroy for the presidency of Ironton High School in 1973.

Forget the fact that we were all best buds. Forget the fact that none of us had ever held any position of authority in our lives. Forget the fact that the three of us had signed up as a huge joke. This was war.

To add tension to this already explosive situation, all three of us worked at the same place: the snack bar at Lawrence County General Hospital. The political gamesmanship was brutal, with a series of unpleasant events such as “The Unfilled Ketchup Bottle Incident” and the “I Guess McElroy Was Too Busy To Mop the Floor Last Night, Boss” affair.

Wheeler courted the marching band vote. “Strike Up the Band For Dennis” read his posters. It was a clever ploy, since the IHS Million Dollar Marching Band was a very influential demographic. But I countered this by having my team spread the word that it was my dad who had given the band its “Million Dollar” moniker.

Last Laugh

Grubb spent a lot of time cultivating an even more powerful faction – the audiovisual department. In most environments, people with pocket protectors and taped up spectacles were objects of scorn, but not at IHS. Without the AV department there would be no filmstrips, no educational movies, and no driver’s ed films like Death on the Highway or Red Asphalt. And without those cinematic distractions, we would actually have to sit and listen to teachers’ lectures. The AV people had a lot of sway.

I did what any good politician would do – I made a deal. I promised the AV gang that, if elected president, I would get them dates for the prom. They were mine!

You see the prom was the real prize we sought. The senior class president at IHS had no real power. The prez didn’t run any meetings, make any decisions or do anything, really. But it was still a powerful position. Why? Because the senior class president was automatically the head of the prom court. And, by extension, so was my date!

For the first time in my miserable life, someone would actually want to be my date to a dance, as opposed to the poor young women who had grudgingly agreed to go with me to past dances because their sister was going with my best friend, or their boyfriend was in jail.

The lovely Christi Moore agreed to join me at the prom and a lovely time was had by all. And that is my entire presidential resume. Yes, I freely admit that I sought power to secure a super date to my senior prom. You have to agree, it’s a much purer motivation for wanting to be president than most candidates.

So, this election, write in “Clint McElroy” for president and I promise to get all of you prom dates.


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