Unconfirmed sources report that former attorney general John Ashcroft is a leading candidate to be the next Pope. Vatican officials deny that any such list exists and refused to confirm the reports. The officials went on to say that Pope John Paul was only been dead for a day so it would be unseemly to speculate on who the new Pope will be. Our Washington sources state that George W. Bush is pushing hard for Ashcroft to be named Pope. Ashcroft has spoken to reporters and stated that he would “love to be the Pope and would do a damn fine job of it.”
“This is another case of the Bush administration trying to put it’s people into positions of power.” Said pundit Andrew Sullivan. “The Bush administration is trying to consolidate it’s hold on the religious right and having a political pawn in the top job at the Vatican would really help. I think it is a daring move, brilliant in it’s audacity. If the President can pull this one off the Republicans will have a lock on the Catholic vote for decades. This is another bush master stroke in the making.”
“Wow.” Said Julio Mascoi, Vatican correspondent for the Rome Daily News. “I have never seen anything like it. Washington has pulled out all the stops in it’s attempt to win the top job for Ashcroft. Rome has been flooded with radio and TV ads touting the strengths of John Ashcroft. This campaign is truly unprecedented. Many Italians and Americans think that Ashcroft would make a great Pope and is just what the Catholic Church needs. Only time will tell if this media blitz will put Ashcroft over the top in the coming vote.”
“The Vatican needs a strong leader to whip it into shape. I can be that leader.” Said Ashcroft at a press conference this morning. “I know how to put the fear of god into people and that’s what the Vatican now needs. No offense, but pop John Paul II was an old man, he was weak and doddering. A dynamic and powerful organization like the Vatican needs a spirited person to lead it. I am that person.”
Vatican officials refused to comment on whether John Ashcroft was in the running, but did admit that he would be a very good Pope.