Former Senator Launches ‘April Fools’ Presidential Campaign, Nobody Notices

The case against April Fools' Day, made by two politicians.

Former U.S. Senator Alphonse D'Amato attends the celebration of Ed Koch's 85th Birthday and 20th Anniversary at Brian Cave LLP at the St. Regis Hotel on November 18, 2009 in New York City.

Photographer: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

April Fools' Day is perennially dreadful for politics. The people who get elected to office often overrate their charm; they often employ staffers who overrate it for them. Inspired, perhaps, by this year's brobdingnagian field of Republican presidential candidates, two men who have as much chance at the nomination as Jim Gilmore (he was governor of Virginia once!) used the holiday to pretend that they were running. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican elected in possibly 2014's biggest upset, used the sleepy forum of a public works hearing to "declare."

Hogan at least revealed the punchline in a hurry. Contrast this with Al D'Amato, the three-term New York Republican senator who was defeated in 1998 and, at age 77, has a loosely defined role at a strategy firm. Wednesday afternoon, D'Amato made an announcement on Facebook.

Friends and Family, after giving it substantial thought, I have decided to launch an Exploratory Committee for the Republican Nomination for President in 2016. As the dysfunction in Washington continues to grow at the expense of the taxpayer, I feel as though I can no longer sit idly as this opportunity to change the direction of this country passes me by. I look forward to starting a very serious conversation with Americans across the country.

In a world where George Pataki is getting headlines for staffing announcements, this could not be dismissed. Calls to D'Amato's office were answered by an amused-sounding assistant saying he was still "pondering" his 2016 plans. One hour later, D'Amato revealed the joke:

As my friend, the other "pretend" President, Frank Underwood said, “First rule of diplomacy: Stop while you’re ahead.” April Fools, friends!‪#‎AprilFoolsDay‬ ‪#‎HouseOfCards‬

Thirty-five people "liked" that.

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