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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Where’s Pat Paulsen When We Need Him?

John Kiesewetter archive

With candidates making a joke of the presidential campaign this year, too bad comedian Pat Paulsen isn’t around to satirize the craziness.

Paulsen, the deadpan comic who died in 1997, made satirical runs for the White House in 1968 -- at  the height of the Vietnam War – on CBS’ “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” show.  He offered hope and change, boldly pronouncing: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself – and the Boogey Man!”

Looking back on his comical crusade nearly 50 years ago, I’m surprised that his wacky rhetoric remains so relevant. 

His primary concerns could come from a front-runner today. I say: Let’s make America grate….ful again for Pat Paulsen!

Credit ABC Entertainment
Pat Paulsen in 1970

ON IMMIGRATION: “All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.”

OLD-FASHIONED CAMPAIGN: “My campaign efforts will be limited to old-fashioned, honorable mud-slinging and name calling.”

COMMON CORE:  “Every child has a right to go to high school, and end up with a third-grade education.”

PAULSEN AGENDA: “Will I solve economic problems? Will I ease the causes of racial tensions?...Will I end the war in Vietnam? Will I improve America's foreign relations? Sure, why not?”

POSTAL SERVICE REFORM: “The federal government spends millions to run the Postal Service. I could lose your mail for half of that.”

DEVASTATING FOREST FIRES:  “The No. 1 cause of forest fires is trees.”

HONESTY: “Deep down, I happen to be very shallow.”

A CHALLENGE TO  AMERICA:  “I've upped my standards. Now, up yours.”

GUN RIGHTS: “A gun is a necessity. Who knows if you're walking down a street and you spot a moose?”

NOT A POLITICAL INSIDER: “I stand before you tonight as an independent candidate. In other words,  I'm nobody's fool.”

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE:  “Worrying about the future is a thing of the past. I don’t think about it!”

I’m John Kiesewetter, and I approve this message. 

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.