Jason Dahlberg, an unknown actor whose roles have included minor characters in amateur comedies staged mostly at now-defunct regional theaters, announced Tuesday that he was running for president of the United States. Dahlberg said he would run neither as a Democrat nor a Republican, nor even as himself, but as Abraham Lincoln.
Speaking at a campground in rural Ohio where he lives in a tent with his current girlfriend, Mr. Dahlberg, 39, admitted he was less qualified to be president than most people he knew, including his one brother and three sisters. But he stressed that in the role of the 16th president — a role he knows well from having played Lincoln in a high-school drama — he was far more qualified than all the other candidates in the race.
“As an unemployed actor, I’ve had a lot of time to read and think about Lincoln,” Dahlberg said. “I’ve studied and memorized all of his great speeches, I’ve gone to antique stores to gather clothing and shoes similar to his, and I’ve practiced talking and behaving like him. Believe me, I know how to play Lincoln. And even a small-time actor portraying that great man would make a better president than any of the driveling bobbleheads now in the race, with the possible exception of Senator Bernie Sanders.”
Mr. Dahlberg’s announcement drew 15 to 20 curious onlookers from the campground, most of whom stared in disbelief at the candidate’s top hat and fake beard. Nevertheless, 11 of them said they would vote for Mr. Dahlberg if he promised to remain in character as Lincoln throughout the campaign and an eventual presidency. The candidate vowed he would do just that.
“I promise to imitate him in every way possible,” Mr. Dahlberg said, asking that henceforth people stop using his real name and start referring to him as Lincoln. “I intend to finish the term for which I was elected in 1864 but which was tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullet. It would be altogether fitting and not a little fortuitous that I should return, God willing, to the White House in 2016, at a time when the nation I dearly love stands in as much need of my service as ever it did.”
Lincoln continued: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, save for those lobbyists, plutocrats, oligarchs and politicians who debase and corrupt our nation with their ugly money and sleazy ways…”