Not to toot my own horn, but I'm starting to see a strong voter response to my presidential campaign (Motto: "It's Time We Demanded Less!").

Every day, more and more voters are turning toward me. Granted, they immediately turn away and barf, but that is not the point. The point is that I'm getting attention, and I'm getting it without the negative campaigning and cheap-shot name-calling you're hearing from my dirtbag slimeball opponents.How strong is my candidacy? Let's take a look at the following chart, which shows, state-by-state, the developing popular ground-swell, as measured by the actual percentages of people voting for me in the early state caucuses and primaries (this chart has a margin of error of three-tenths of an inch):

IOWA - Zero





I'm sure I don't have to whack you over the head with the significance of these numbers. I'm sure you've already reached the obvious conclusion. "Hey!" you are thinking. "Dave is getting EXACTLY THE SAME VOTE PERCENTAGE AS COLIN POWELL!"

Calm down: There is no need to think in capital letters. But you are correct: I am currently running dead even, state for state, with the man who has been shown in poll after poll to be the nation's first choice for president.

Why are Colin and I so hugely popular? I can answer that in one simple word: "The Issues." Here is where I stand on them as of 8:35 p.m. yesterday:

CRIME - You can call me courageous if you want, but I am against crime. I favor the death penalty for everything, including zoning violations. In the case of really, really bad criminals - especially murderers and whoever is responsible for putting ketchup in those little packets they give you at fast-food restaurants - I support a massive government project to develop a way to bring them back to life after we execute them, so we can execute them again.

THE BUDGET DEFICIT - For far too long, politicians have been "sugarcoating" the truth about the deficit, telling us only what they think we want to hear. Well, I say it's time we acted like grown-ups and "faced the music." If you really want to know who's responsible for the budget deficit, go to a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye, and say: "I'M sure as heck not responsible!" Of COURSE you're not! Neither am I! I was hitting golf balls with O.J. at the time.

TAXES - A lot of my opponents have been going around spouting harebrained "pie-in-the-sky" tax schemes that promise "something for nothing." Well I say it's time for a "reality check." I favor a practical, fiscally sound, two-pronged "flat-tax" system, as follows:

PRONG ONE - Everybody would pay less.

PRONG TWO - You, personally, would pay nothing.

Unlike my opponents, however, I am not suggesting that there is such a thing as a "free lunch." (Under my administration, you will still have to pay for your lunch, although dinner would be free, unless they serve it with those little ketchup packets, in which case they would have to pay YOU.) I fully realize that if everybody paid lower taxes, then the government would not have the money it needs to carry out its vital constitutional function of shutting down every other week. Therefore, to offset my tax break, I am proposing a special tax of $10,000 on everybody who gets:

THE "JENNIFER ANISTON MODEL" HAIRCUT - Jennifer Aniston, for the benefit of those of you who have just arrived here from the 14th century, is an actress on the TV sitcom "Friends," which is about six ordinary young people who lead ordinary lives doing ordinary things just like you - working, watching TV, dating Julia Roberts, etc. This show is hugely popular, and one result has been that roughly 80 percent of American women have decided to do their hair in the same style as Aniston, often with unfortunate results. It's like the '70s, when millions of women got the Farrah Fawcett Model hairstyle, thinking this made them look like Farrah Fawcett, when in fact it made them look like French poodles that had fallen into vats of hydrogen peroxide.

Get real, women! Copying somebody's hairstyle doesn't make you look like that person! If I wore my hair like Brad Pitt, would I suddenly look exactly like Brad Pitt? Of course not! I would look exactly like Mel Gibson! But that is something I have learned to live with. Because I happen to be a realist, which is why I know that I will never be president of this great nation unless I can persuade you, the people, to give me your trust in the form of U.S. currency. I'm going to need a LOT of your trust, because I want to present my Vision for America's Future by means of TV commercials suggesting that my opponents are guilty of, at minimum, molesting livestock. So help me out, voters! Let's all do our part, as patriotic citizens, to make this great nation an even better place in which for me to live. You'd better act now, because there are only so many spaces on the Supreme Court.

And speaking of presidents: It has been brought to my attention that I am a stupid idiot because in a recent column I attributed the statement "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" to Winston Churchill. This statement was of course made by Franklin D. Roosevelt, inventor of the phonograph.