Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Home Edition
Section: Metro
Page: B-7


Looking for a Supporting Role, Willing to Play Vice President;
Politics: Warren, baby, you're gonna need me on the ticket.;

Rick Moranis is a writer and actor who supported Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters" and Steve Martin in "My Blue Heaven."

I should like to herewith declare my candidacy for the office of vice president of these United States in the 2000 elections. As a running mate on the Warren Beatty ticket, I promise to uphold the doctrines and values of the Liberal, Reform, Independent or Blair Witch parties, whichever it is decided shall best suit the needs of all Americans in the coming millennium.
Beatty and I come with almost half a century of experience in an industry that is acutely aware of the most sensitive aspect of all human needs: cheap entertainment. As a highly successful second banana, I have mastered the art of supporting the "leading man" you want your president to play. Whether being the wry devil's advocate, the loyal best friend or simply the dumb guy next door, the one who can always keep a secret and loves to take the blame, I am without any doubt the perfect choice to stand behind Beatty and make him look great. "Don't you worry, boss. I won't tell a soul!"

There are many ways a Beatty-Moranis ticket would satisfy the whole spectrum of the constituency. Where President Beatty is tall, I am short. Where I wear glasses, he pensively squints. Where he is a Los Angeles-based Gentile who has boldly articulated his doubts about the Democratic candidates, I am a New York Jew who wishes Zabar's had E-Z Pass. And where the future President Beatty is a recovering ladies' man--perhaps the only man alive who has loved more than President Clinton and who is now happily raising a family in a successful marriage--I, on the other hand, can bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the debate on Internet pornography.

Beatty, or just plain Warren as he is known, has demonstrated a consistently committed empathy toward the plight of the underclass in this country and would work to reconcile the chasm that divides the haves and have-nots of our capitalist system. I, too, am committed to reducing my own tax liabilities, to helping my network of top-level advisors grow my portfolio and to increase both my consumer-spending figures and my general savings rate.

This is a great time for America, and as a Canadian citizen, I offer the kind of regional objectivity that can win the ear of President Beatty for all American citizens and resident aliens who, like me, feel more could be done for them. Many people have said that Beatty has no experience governing, no administrative skills and no background in budget, management or legislation. Well, I have less. Americans can feel comfortable knowing that Beatty can be a leader who can look around him and see how lacking the people of this country truly are.

Hollywood has already produced one president, and financed countless others. Clint became the mayor of Carmel, or was it a town near Carmel? Sonny Bono became a congressman, and that other guy, Fred Thompson, what about him? (I won't even mention the wrestler.) Warren Beatty is doing what he has always done best: He has looked in the mirror for a very, very, very long time and said, "I am ready for my close-up."

Well, America, I am ready in the background.

As the brilliant and sympathetic libertarian Bulworth, Warren Beatty reached out to a cynical America and offered it hope. Here, today, in the movie of our lives, I too, am reaching out to a hopeful America. In the words of the little guy next door--the guy I've played so many times--I say to you--the citizens of this country--and to you, Warren Beatty--"Whatever you say, boss. But are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Let me be your vice president. I am right for the part. I need this job.