Cathy Hamilton: Write-in campaign over

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— My fellow Americans: After weeks of soul-searching reflection, I have decided to drop out of the race.

Now, I know some of you will be gravely disappointed at this news. I'm aware there has been a groundswell of support for my write-in campaign, based on my "mandatory nametags for everyone" platform from the last election cycle. I deeply appreciate your enthusiasm and all the phone calls and home visits you've made on my behalf. And I'll be happy to refund the generous donations you sent to my campaign office, as soon as I remember my post office box combination.

Truth is, my friends, I'm not cut out to be your president in these challenging times, and here's why:

First, I have nothing to wear. Two pairs of black slacks, a couple of skirts, three cardigans and four pairs of jeans do not a presidential wardrobe make. Oh, I know I'd have "people" for that kind of thing - personal shoppers, stylists, designers bringing custom-made couture to the White House for my perusal - but I'd still have to try the stuff on and, bottom line, I really hate to shop.

Secondly, I have yet to master the art of graceful deplaning. I have a problem with steps, you see, and there are too many photo ops on way too many tarmacs in a POTUS' life. Every week, there'd be fresh video on CNN of President Hamilton's latest head-over-heels, Spanx-revealing tumble from Air Force One. I'd make Gerald Ford look like Fred Astaire. And if there's a sure-fire way to ruin the wow factor of a Chanel suit, it's accessorizing with a neck brace.

Plus, I've always been more than a little directionally challenged, and there's a good chance I could get lost in the White House for days on end. No kidding.

I could never abide the receiving lines. In my mind, they're an excruciating formality wasting valuable time that could be spent partying. (After all, there are no cash bars in White House, right? Why not take advantage?) Besides, all that smiling makes my jaws ache, and we already know how bad I am with names. (Yes, I'd have "people" to help me with that, too, but all those foreign monikers? I'd just botch 'em up.)

Also - and, granted, it's a little thing - my shoulders get really sore when I wave too much. I was in a parade once and, not wanting to sit on that float like a bump on a log, I flailed my upper limbs at onlookers for two whole miles. I could barely lift my arms the next morning, much less salute. I can't risk injuring my rotator cuffs. I know you understand.

Oh, and I know a lot of plumbers, but none of them are named "Joe."

Finally, there's the little matter of my husband as First Dude. While I'm sure he would relish the role and take full advantage of the White House bowling alley, it's the redecorating I fear. He'd feel compelled to make over the East and West wings in his signature style, Early American Caveman. "Lazy Boys all around! Sports Illustrated in every bathroom! Kegerators in the every office!"

There'd be baby back ribs, sweet potato fries and PBR at every state dinner. That is, if he hadn't already converted the State Dining Room to a basketball court. I don't even want to think about what he'd do to Lincoln's Bedroom, but mirrored ceilings and faux fur comforters immediately come to mind.

Sure, world leaders would probably love the guy. And I'm certain he wouldn't mind taking President Sarkozy's hot new wife for a spin on the dance floor. But I'd have to watch him like a hawk, and there's only so much time in a president's day.

Therefore, my fellow citizens, I reluctantly pull my hat from the ring. I urge you to vote for the candidate who can best handle the intense responsibilities of commander-in-chief, and whose spouse knows better than to put a Kegerator in the Oval Office.

On second thought, given the circumstances, that might be the best idea either candidate will ever have.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

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