Byline: Chuck Goudie
George Bush was still in cloth diapers and Al Gore hadn't even been conceived when two of Chicago's most beloved holiday movies were released.
Today, Messrs. Bush and Gore are living out the plots of "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946).
"Miracle" is the story of a man who believes he is Santa Claus and proves it in court.
"Wonderful Life" is about a man who is overwhelmed by circumstances but finds reason to go on.
With slight revisions, both films become remarkably similar to the untidiness we are in today.
In the new and improved "It's a Wonderful Life," Albert Arnold Gore Jr. is the desperate soul searching for 10,000 misplaced votes.
On the verge of civilianhood, Gore is touched by a guardian angel in search of his political wings.
The angel, a squat and hairless cherub named William Daley, escorts Gore back through his life to illustrate how different things would be had he not been born.
"Why are there no computers in any of these stores?" asks Gore.
"Because you weren't here to invent the Internet," answers Daley.
"And why isn't 'Love Story' on the shelves of Blockbuster?" wonders Gore.
"Because Tipper is an old maid and there was no inspiration for the film," replies Daley.
Finally Gore, shocked to his senses, returns to his home in Carthage, Tenn. To the strains of Auld Lang Syne, Mr. Gore's friends and PAC contributors parade into his parlor, dropping off 10,000 virgin butterfly ballots into a lock box and he declares himself president.
The film ends with a tinkling Christmas tree bell and Gore daughter Karenna saying "Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."
The camera zooms to Gore, who, with a toothy grin, looks to heaven, winks and says "that's right. That's right. Attaboy, Billy."
Then there is Bush's version of "Miracle on 34th Street" in which he portrays a man who believes he is president but can't convince anybody else.
Authorities believe he is insane and should be committed.
"Don't worry about me, I've got the best lawyer in the world," says the confident, well-dressed Bush as he walks into court.
The questioning begins by an attorney representing the state of Florida.
"What is your name?" the lawyer asks Bush.
"President George W. Bush," says Bush.
"Where do you live?" inquires the lawyer.
"That's what this hearing will decide," says Bush.
"Do you believe you're the president?" asks the lawyer.
"Of course," says Bush.
"The state rests your honor," says the lawyer. …