U.S. President George Bush has nominated American conservative Pat Buchanan as the successor to John Paul II.
"We've taken great care in evaluating several candidates," Bush told a group of supporters in a Virginia cathedral. "All of whom we respect. Each has dedicated his life to removing Matthew 7:1 from Christianity. We'd like to thank Pat Robertson, Brother Jed Smock and the Rev. Fred Phelps for participating in the selection process."
"During the process, we learned that the pope must be Catholic. And that Pat Buchanan is Catholic. He's labored all his life to keep America true to his vision. Sometimes," Bush chuckled, "He's even criticized ourself. We feel that he is the best man to send to Rome."
At a press conference later, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan was asked if the president were aware he has no authority to appoint a pope.
"During a time of war," McClellan replied, "The President must act swiftly. We think the world is better off with Pat Buchanan in Rome."
Bush expects that his nomination will be taken to the Senate floor for a full vote, McClellan said.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) promised that the Senate would give the President's nominee full consideration before confirming him.
Asked for a response, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) replied, "I'm truly not that surprised anymore."
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