Eight rumors you can leak to revive a political campaign

Just suggest that your opponent lipsyncs his speeches and bones up on economics by listening to Led Zepplin albums played backwards.

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So you're running for office and the future is looking grim. Your polling numbers have tanked, the talking points are falling flat, and a lot of voters seem bored.

The solution is simple: You need to jolt the campaign out of the doldrums with some high-voltage charges about your opponent that will create doubts about his character and judgment. Don’t worry about being truthful. If the past 10 years have proven anything, it’s that significant numbers of Americans will believe negative rumors about a candidate regardless of how often they’re debunked.

So pick up the phone and start the leaks flowing. Here are some eye-brow raising accusations that will quickly swing the momentum back in your favor.

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1. My opponent may not be a citizen of this country. I’ve heard reports that he was born on an airliner flying over the ocean. By not being born on the surface of our planet, I believe he cannot legally be classified as an Earthling.

2. My opponent once visited the Los Alamos Nuclear facility and was overheard asking a guard, “Where do you guys keep the Kryptonite?”

3. Friends of my opponent claim he once belonged to a shadowy cult that believes Arthur Godfrey is still alive in a secret mountain hiding place and will someday return to rule over a new Golden Age of Television.

4. My opponent was overheard at a party telling lobbyists for the oil industry that he opposes offshore drilling because he fears it will awaken giant subterranean reptiles that will run amok, destroy our cities, and drain the military budget.

5. A reliable official in the State Department revealed that my opponent wants Disneyland to have a seat on the UN Security Council.

6. Former high school classmates say my opponent started wearing an eye patch during his senior year and lied on his college application by claiming to be the model for bubble gum icon Bazooka Joe.

7. My opponent has bragged repeatedly that he gets his ideas about economics by listening to old Led Zeppelin records played backwards.

8. All those great speeches my opponent gives are mostly prerecorded. At least 90 percent of the time he’s just lip-synching.

Jeffrey Shaffer writes humor from Portland, Ore.

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