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Thursday, February 19 12:00 AM EST

Dean Quits Race, Declares
Himself King of Vermontia

By Dan Barash

Burlington, VT - Howard Dean dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday, and declared himself King of the new nation of Vermontia.

King Dean“The people have spoken,” said Dean, “damn them!” He added, “The dismal performance of my campaign proves the American people are not ready for democracy. Clearly we need a monarchy.” He stated that Vermont is leaving the US to become Vermontia, and he would rule as King Howard I.

In his first act as King, Dean said Vermontia would grant asylum to all Americans who voted for him in the presidential primary states. “My supporters have suffered, said Dean. “In Vermontia they will no longer face the daily verbal abuse and ridicule that comes from believing I would be a good president.” Dean also reopened a long running border dispute with New Hampshire and threatened to invade Massachusetts unless Senator John Kerry “shows some respect”.

Vermontia was quickly recognized by the United Nations, with Fiji and Liechtenstein expressing satisfaction that another irrelevant nation would be joining. President Bush had no issue with Vermont declaring independence, saying that he always “got it mixed up with New Hampshire anyway”. Bush did warn Dean not to make Vermontia an “annoying liberal country like Canada”. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said he was ready to invade Vermontia and “kick some Green Mountain ass” if Dean did not behave.

Vermontia will retain its legislature, and all representatives will be issued rubber stamps. The national anthem will be the Star Spangled Howl, inspired by Dean’s infamous scream after the Iowa primary. A royal edict states that Dean’s birthday, Nov. 21, will be a national holiday and everybody gets a free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cone.

Dean announced he was offering Al Gore the position of court jester. Gore, who has been hiding under his bed ever since endorsing Dean, was not available for comment.

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There was no word on whether Dean’s wife, Judy Steinberg Dean, would be Vermontia’s queen. Insiders say she was urging Dean to start taking his meds again, and was reading up on Napoleonic complexes.

Dean said his reign as King of Vermontia would prove to skeptics his fitness for leading a country. “It’s a common misconception that a nation’s leader must be calm, reasonable, and rational,” he said. “ I am doing this for loud, annoying know-it-alls everywhere.”


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