WOLFEBORO, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Intimidated by the powerful speeches of Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and, most of all, Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, Mitt Romney has canceled his appearance at the first presidential debate, which had been scheduled for October 3, even though he had taken an entire week off from campaigning to prepare to debate the president. Romney vowed to stay here at his vacation retreat to get over the depression resulting from a new poll showing that he is five points behind the president.
“I have only four years in elective politics," Romney explained to a solitary reporter. "If you combine Bill, Joe, and Barack, those three have 70 years of experience between them, while I have only four. It's no use! For once in my life I'm gonna be humble."
"But wait now, I have the perfect surrogate," Romney exclaimed.
"Vladimir Putin, not al Qaeda, is the biggest threat to the United States. Putin will take my place. So if Obama can really prove his mettle, he'll show the world that he can stand up to that megalomaniac — which I am sure he cannot!"
Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Putin to accept the challenge, Putin declined through a spokesman, saying that the Russian president is far too busy leading endangered Siberian cranes to Uzbekistan while piloting a hang glider.
According to unconfirmed and unreliable reports, Putin plans to lead the cranes to Aleppo, Syria, as a gesture of support to embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose tenure as the Syrian dictator is highly questionable.