This isn't how it's supposed to work. We shouldn't have to sort through the swimsuit competition and tortured speeches about world peace and saving the whales only to have the winner selected from the audience.

But if that's the new paradigm, pick me, Mr. Congeniality. For one thing, I've got better legs than Bernie and I won't stop and frisk anyone backstage. I'll leave that to the president. Plus, I'm taller than Michael Bloomberg, and your Big Gulp is safe with me.

As for my resume, well, for a dozen years, I hosted radio reality shows around the country, with one twist. They always fired me. True story: After three years and numerous ownership and management changes at a Jamestown radio station, the last weasel, a mirthless dullard, finally got me.

“Tony, we're going to have to let you go,” he said one day, as if “they” had no choice at all, as if the fate of all mankind depended on it. “Well, I suppose a raise is out of the question,” I answered.

I've got political experience, too. In 2000, I ran such a spirited write-in campaign for the governorship that Heidi Heitkamp gave me a $2 campaign donation. Really. When he heard about it, John Hoeven sent me a dollar, too. Later on, when I introduced him as a guest speaker at the Ashley Chamber of Commerce banquet, I explained that he wasn't a cheapskate, really, just “fiscally responsible.”

I spent it on beer.

Well, I didn't win, and North Dakota has since been run into the ground, but I've learned from my mistakes. For one, I should've campaigned in Michigan. Also, my promise of “a liver sausage in every pot” was widely viewed as a threat. Another insurmountable obstacle was that John Hoeven had gubernatorial hair. That's why Minot Sen. Oley Larsen, whose day job is wind tunnel test pilot, will never be governor.

A lot of folks in Minot get angry when I mock Oley's hair, but I'm just trying to act presidential. Seriously, though, how often do you get free political advice from the third-place finisher in the 2000 North Dakota governor's race? Here it is: Don't get your styling tips from the mop section, Oley. (Odney would send you a bill for that.)

Another thing I've got going for me is temperament. If you fire me, my concession speech will be hilarious. Plus, as an authentic German-Russian, my ancestors have spent centuries invading and being invaded. Putin's gonna love me. Did I mention that I'm Mormon?

Now, I know a lot of progressives are panicked by all the dog-paddling in the 200-meter backstroke, but anyone who thinks the Dems aren't savvy enough to win is full of malarkey and is a lying dog-faced pony soldier. All we need is someone to ride in at the last minute to save the day.

Pick me.

I can borrow a white horse from a conservative friend that probably doesn't buck much at all, and my hat is so white it's almost racist. I'm perfect for the job. I can field questions all day without committing to anything — which is why I'm single. I could even get a haircut.

Really, the only thing holding me back is a few billion dollars.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.