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TAKE THE CAMPAIGN -- PLEASE. OR AT LEAST SAVOR SOME OF ITS FUNNIEST LINES

The long and often bitter presidential campaign is over. Whoever wins, it's been quite a fight.

Now, haven't we earned the right to sit back and look for the humor in all of this? Find ourselves a few laughs?

Believe it or not, there were some humorous moments during the race for the White House that pits President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney against. Sen. John F. Kerry and Sen. John Edwards.

Professional comedians have had a good time with politics this year, of course, but the candidates also made us laugh -- sometimes on purpose, sometimes without even trying.

Here are a few examples. Enjoy!

On the stump

Kerry on the stump comparing himself with Edwards:

"He's a lawyer, I'm a lawyer. He's People magazine's sexiest politician in America. I read People magazine."

Bush, during a campaign speech about using medical technology to modernize record keeping: "Doctors don't write very well, anyway. They write about as well as I speak English."

Kerry, during a debate, speaking about his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry:

"I married up."

Bush on the stump: "I love traveling with my daughters on the campaign trail. There's nothing better than being with somebody who, well, tells you to keep your tie straight, don't spill food before you get out there and talk to people."

Kerry, during a debate: "Women are really the managers of chaos. They pick up the pieces after us guys."

Bush with Jack Nicklaus at a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio: "While you were cheering I asked Jack if he had any advice for my golf game. He said, 'quit.'"

Political chat

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), explaining to the New York Post why he wasn't interested in running as vice president: "As a POW in Vietnam, I was kept in the dark and fed scraps. Why would I want to do that again?"

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger poking fun at Kerry and another senator:

"My kids brought home a beautiful pumpkin, but you know what? I'm going to return it because it's a Democratic pumpkin. It has the orange color of John Kerry's tan, and the roundness of Teddy Kennedy."

Al Gore on C-Span: "Well, I am concerned about the economy. I was the first one laid off."

Bob Dole, appearing with Gore on C-Span: "Al's going to have a place in history. He got more votes than anyone else but didn't get to be president. And the same thing happened to me, except I got fewer votes and didn't get to be president."

That's show biz

Jon Stewart interview with Kerry on Comedy Central: "Is it true every time I use ketchup, your wife gets a nickel?"

Bill Maher on HBO: "During the debate, Bush was asked by a lady to name three mistakes he's made. And Bush responded, 'This debate, the last debate and the next debate.'"

Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show": "Courtney Love said she once escorted Kerry to a concert. John Kerry once went out with Courtney Love and he's questioning Bush's judgment?"

David Letterman on "The Late Show": "President Bush is going to establish elections there in Iraq. He's going to rebuild the infrastructure. He's going to create jobs. He said if it works there, he'll try it here."

Craig Kilborn on "The Late Late Show": "Today, John Kerry announced a fool-proof plan to wipe out the $500 billion deficit. He's going to put it on his wife's Gold Card."

Letterman: "John Kerry says that foreign leaders want him to be president, but that he can't name the foreign leaders. That's all right, President Bush can't name them either."

Actor Ashton Kutcher, on the stump with John Edwards: "I voted for (Bush in 2000) because I thought he was like me. I thought he was a good old boy like me. But I got punked."

Comic Mort Sahl in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "You hardly see Kerrylaugh. At least Bush smiles sadistically."

The last word

Kerry, with Michael J. Fox, who played the conservative Alex Keaton: "Even Alex Keaton would have shifted parties and voted for me this year."

Bush on Bush: "Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called walking."

The last bipartisan word

Jay Leno: "One guy can't make up his mind, the other can't speak his mind."

e-mail: aviolanti@buffnews.com

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