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Mars Rover Opportunity Drops Presidential Bid, Endorses Dean
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MARS - NASA received a signal today from the twin to their successful Spirit rover, indicating that it is dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary. "With my need now to focus on my Martian duties," the rover said, "I can't devote enough time to campaigning. I have learned a lot from this experience, I wouldn't trade it for the world. But it is time to step aside and throw my backing behind the next president of the United States, Howard Dean." Dean's spokesman indicated that the endorsement was unexpected, but appreciated.

"It was a surprise to all of us," said NASA engineer, Lauren Toost. "We didn't even know Opportunity was in the race." Indeed, it seems that no one did, despite her "Opportunity, For Change" slogan. In explaining why he advised her to drop out, her campaign manager said, "She wasn't even in the polls. She had the name recognition, but it just wasn't carrying over. She's been cast in the public eye as a second-string, just-in-case robot geologist, and there was simply no changing that perception."

As a write-in candidate, she was not required by law to pay a registration fee. However legal experts say that since she is not a registered voter, she would not have qualified as an official candidate. The rover was nonplussed at the reaction to her message, "I didn't realize any qualifications existed for being in the primary. Watching the news, listening to the debates, you must admit it was an honest mistake."

"I'm sorry to see her gone," said Reverend and candidate Al Sharpton, "I looked forward to asking her to show me her list of African-American crew members. She hasn't got one. How about Hispanics? None. In fact, she doesn't carry a single human being with her at all. Does that tell me she's got mankind's best interests in mind? No, it doesn't. A cold, lifeless machine in the cold of space, trying to become the candidate for our cold, dead Democratic party. It would be sardonic if it wasn't so symbolic."
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