07/06/2004 - Gollum announces running mate

The Gollum campaign is pleased to announce that the candidate, Mr Gollum, has put an end to months of speculation by selecting his own longtime alter ego, Smeagol, as his running mate.

The surprise choice was quickly hailed by politics watchers as giving the Gollum ticket some much-needed balance. "The way I see it," one commentator observed, "Gollum's strong innate appeal to the stealthy and treacherous pretty much guarantees him the votes of that sector of the electorate. What he needed was to balance the ticket with someone weak-willed and indecisive who the average voter - or non-voter - could identify with. Smeagol is really the perfect choice."

Other observers also stressed the importance of Smeagol's reputation for neurotic indecision when it comes to capturing the votes of undecided voters. "These are people who, by definition, can't make up their minds, even when confronted with a clear choice." said the Washington Post's Tom Shales. "Smeagol is their candidate. Wavering, pulled in both directions, chronically unable to make up his mind - he's the essence of the undecided voter, he's someone that they can't help but see as one of their own."

The choice of Smeagol is also seen as a subtly-calculated strategy to steal votes from the Democrats. "Smeagol's going to appeal to the liberal voter in the same way that Gollum appeals to conservatives." wrote New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan. "Gollum embodies what have traditionally been seen as Republican virtues - violence, treachery, deceit. Smeagol represents the core liberal values - a fawning desire to be loved, a wishy-washy determination to 'do the right thing'. The joint ticket could steal votes right across the spectrum."

When notified, the new vice-presidential candidate accepted the offer with his usual pathetic gratitude.