DATELINE LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9, 2000: This morning, The Roman Forum put the U.S. presidency
up for auction on eBay for a minimum bid of $1. No longer will the presidency be restricted to a small number of wealthy
individuals and their cronies. "The presidency belongs to all of us, so all
of us should have a fair shot at it," said Cicero, a member of The Roman
Forum. "It is being auctioned off now because its current owner is moving
and an auction is the fairest way to bring it to the attention of the
largest number of possible buyers."
The presidency is being listed on eBay under the category "Collectibles: Political (US): Presidency" and it is described as a "unique object ... 210 years old and in good condition-- a real collector's item". The auction is slated to last 10 days, and an undisclosed reserve price has been set on the presidency.
Another member of The Roman Forum, the famed writer Petronius Arbiter, pointed out that there are historical precedents for this auction. "The Roman Empire was auctioned off once or twice by the Praetorian Guard," he noted. "Once in 192 A.D., as I recall."
Roman Forum member Germania added that in his campaign for the U.S. presidency, George W. Bush has reportedly raised on the order of $95 million from only around 800 individuals out of the entire nation. "If 800 people can own the presidency, why can't one?" she asked.
The Roman Forum are meeting in Los Angeles during the week of the Democratic National Convention and can be found at Side Street Live at 425 S. Main St., 2nd floor, downtown Los Angeles. Anyone wishing to attend their deliberations is invited to Side Street Live on August 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($12 with parking stub) and $8 for students, and there is attended parking in the building. For reservations, leave a message at 213-620-8895 or email the Roman Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATELINE LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19, 08:11:06 PDT: The Roman Forum's eBay auction of the presidency ended today with the winning bidder gaining the nation's highest office for a final price of only $10,000,000.00. The high bidder wishes to remain anonymous and has no comment for the press.
DATELINE LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20, 2000,17:41:36 PDT: The Roman Forum's eBay auction of the presidency has been unexpectedly cancelled. The Roman Forum received the following notification from eBay:
"eBay appreciates the fact that you chose to list your auction:
405138104 Presidency of the United States
with us. Unfortunately your auction was in violation of one or more of our listing policies. Specifically, eBay does not allow listings that are intended as jokes or items that are not for sale. Although the auction had already ended, it has been removed from the site and all fees associated with this auction have been credited to your account."