In late February 1992, H. Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire computer executive, nominated himself as candidate for president of the United States on the Larry King Live TV talk show.
No caucuses or primaries for the Texas tycoon. He bypassed them all. With this brief candidacy announcement, Perot avoided all of the time- consuming visits to local New Hampshire drugstores and shopping malls that virtually all presidential aspirants are expected to undergo in the Granite State. No stopovers for Perot at Iowa precaucus gatherings in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames, and elsewhere in the ninety-nine counties. Nor would there be any hectic tarmac stops at the numerous Florida airports for quickie TV and radio interviews. Instead, the wealthy Texan short-circuited the entire, exhausting six-month preconvention campaign process simply by appearing on a popular TV talk show to announce that if the American people wanted him to run, and they put his name on the ballot in all fifty states, he would run. Perot quickly perceived that they wanted him to seek the highest office in the land. Understandably, Perot saw no need to call a national nominating convention; he had already taken care of the nominating function single-handedly by himself.
To the surprise of millions of his followers and the media, Perot abruptly announced his withdrawal from the 1992 race on the last day of the Democratic National Convention in mid-July, declaring that he did not want to be a "divisive force" in the election process, even though he had led Pres-