Bush is in the White House, and Martin Bechet lost to him by about 50 million votes.

Independent candidate Martin Bechet ended his presidential campaign with a fiery, drunken concession speech at a local bar Thursday night. Surrounded by his campaign staff- live-in girlfriend Susie Jo Somers, fraternity brother Walter “Winky” Biddleberg and the boys of Scout troop 18, Bechet pounded beer after beer while railing against his opponents and the “rigged” popular vote, which he lost by over 50 million votes.

“George Bush can $#*! himself, man, and so can Gal… uh, Al Gore,” Bechet said. He was then helped to the door by the bouncer, Eugene Verdon. “Look, I don’t got a beef with that guy [Bechet], but when he brings Scouts in with fake ID’s I gotta take charge. What a weird freakin’ guy, anyway.”

Like bouncer Verdon, the rest of the country was puzzled by Bechet’s campaign. Unlike the strategic, region-based electoral strategies used by Bush and Gore, Bechet focused his entire campaign on winning over voters in Kennebec, Wyoming (pop. 4000). Political analyst Leslie Doodleburg suggested the Bechet campaign did have a plan, however unorthodox: “They probably figure if they win over Kennebec then the message will slowly spread from there. It’s a domino theory. No chance in hell of working, but damn, I’ll support anything that keeps Doris Kearns Goodwin off TV for ten more minutes!” Bechet seemed to concur. “I’m gonna build my political base here,” the candidate told a reporter for the Kennebec Star-Republican. “It’s gonna look like Dr. No’s base in the James Bond movie. Hey, which movie was Dr. No in, anyway?”

Campaign stops outside of Kennebec weren’t any more fruitful, and usually consisted of Bechet pounding beers while Susie Jo Somers jumped up and down wearing a tight t-shirt. But if passersby stopped to watch, the would-be First Couple would argue and stomp off, without publicizing the campaign.

Bechet 2000 was not entirely unsuccessful, though, as he received the endorsement of the Green Lake Motorcycle and Soft-core Porn Club, which had withheld its endorsement in 1996. “This dude’s all right,” said club treasurer “Moose” Johnson. “And his girlfriend’s good… really good.”

Bechet’s choice for vice-president was characteristically odd: curator Martin Daniels of the Green Lake County Zoo. Daniels, 76, who had never even met Bechet before the selection, was disturbed by the choice: “I won’t do it,” he said in a televised interview. “Vice-presidents have to throw a lot of pies, at foreign receptions and such. I don’t like custard, by God, I don’t care what the Constitution says.” Bechet publically blamed his running mate for the ticket’s lack of popularity in a rambling interview on ABC’s “This Week”: “I don’t know what his [Daniels] problem is, that pretty-boy zoo freak. Y’know what? I’ll bet he’d rather have sex with his giraffes than win the election. I tell ya Cokie and Sam, if I win this thing, I’m gonna throw those giraffes out on their butts and take that pervert on the town and get him a hot chick.” Roberts replied: “So you’re saying that your running mate has sex with animals?” Commentator George Will added: “No, Cokie, he’s just saying he’s supporting traditional family values.”

The rest of Bechet’s platform, including “blowing up everything I don’t like” and “tax relief for me and the boys” didn’t resonate in Kennebec or anywhere else, and he received only 87 votes nationally.

Bechet, who lost his job as a bank teller during the campaign (“He never told us he was taking time off,” says bank manager Lana Witt), plans to “hang out with the guys a lot,” ostensibly to plan his next political move.

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