The outsider Presidential candidate that Americans have been looking for emerged on the political scene today. Known as Twig, the candidate has turned its grass-roots effort into a national one literally overnight. The media frenzy that occured yesterday after Twig secured enough delegates from the popular Poplarist Party to win its nomination has eclipsed the major party conventions as well as the current Reform Party bid for the nation's highest office.

Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry portrayed the President's reaction to the Twig candidacy as "disturbed". "The President is upset that he will not be able to partake in a vigorous, televised debate with Twig. As Twig does not speak, such a debate would only serve to make the President appear to be over-talkative, rude and a showoff. He would clearly rather not put himself in that situation."

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Bob Dole reacted personally to the announcement of Twig's candidacy. "Bob Dole is not a talker but a doer," Dole said this morning from Washington. "My critics have said that a piece of wood would have more personality and verbal flair than I do. Well, they're gonna eat those words once that get a load of this Twig fellow."

The Twig in '96 campaign wasted no time as it began running television ads in the Midwest this morning that criticize President Clinton's occasional use of wooden pencils and former Senator Dole's constant public use of toothpicks. The ads heavily criticize both candidate's use of items made from wood, including furniture and shelter, such as The White House. Campaign spokesman Edgar Greenspan said that, if elected, Twig would reside in Billy Sherman's backyard, where it has lived all of its life. Cabinet meetings would take place by the swingset, while formal dinners would occur in the woodshed.

Advisors close to Twig say that the candidate has considered many running-mates, including Poplarist Party favorites Root, Branch and Leaf, but is leaning heavily toward Stump due to its service record and its appeal to older voters. Political analysts say that a Twig/Stump ticket would most likely fare well in forested areas like Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and New England, but that it would have a harder time gaining support for it's platform -- which, incidentally, is made from a durable plastic -- in areas where trees are less prevalent. The Twig platform includes a pro-irrigation plank, and those for national forest preservation, reforestation of stripped land, lumberjack-assisted falling, anti-match and lighter laws, revised accidental limb and canopy loss legislation and support for the controversial Birch vs. Knot. Twig has notified its advisors that it would seek to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would adopt a pro-choice stance regarding a mature tree's action to nurture it's offshoots or not.

While humans are a bit confused about Twig's stance on issues that relate to them, a current poll shows that 72% of voters want "real change" and said they would cast a vote in November for a small piece of wood, if necessary, to get that change. That figure, upon further analysis, breaks down to 69% in favor of Twig and 3% who thought that "a small piece of wood" was a new hipster phrase referring to Ross Perot.

Former talk-show host and Republican radical Pat Buchanan added Twig to his list of political evils in a speech to right-wing Dole supporters this morning. "My friends," Buchanan exclaimed, "It is beyond me how Twig will govern and lead this country into the next century if it cannot verbalize it's desires to the common man. And the thought of not having adequate firewood available, or a good sturdy wooden cross, for that matter, is dreadful and un-American. We must not let Twig impose such perverted and inclusive values on the majority of Americans."

Massive campaign contributions from enthusiastic naturists and environmentalists from around the country have already begun to flood the Twig campaign. Major endorsements have also boosted the candidate, including one from THE CORPORATION, who continues to utilize wood products and destroy forests in the production of its humor product, but has ceased publishing product involving axes, chainsaws or pyromaniacs.