Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. That has always been my motto. But I am just trying to make people laugh - or maybe think a little. I am not trying to become the leader of the free world.
On the Georgia statehouse grounds, in the very shadow of the gold-domed Capitol, stands a statue of Eugene Talmadge, who was elected governor of Georgia four times. The inscription on the base reads, "I may surprise you, but I will never deceive you."
I don't know if ol' Gene lived up to that promise or not because he died long before I was even a glimmer in my old man's eye. I do remember when Jimmy Carter ran for president of the United States, however, on the promise, "I want to be your president, and I will never lie to you."
If Jimmy did lie to the country, I am not aware of it - and if he says a giant rabbit attacked his boat, I believe him. Ditto for the UFO.
And, of course, we know that Lincoln was honest enough to carry the moniker Honest Abe around under his stovepipe hat, and George Washington reportedly couldn't tell a lie - even if it would save him from getting a whipping for chopping down a cherry tree with his little hatchet.
Unfortunately for the American public, the aforementioned politicians are the exception rather than the rule. Lies and politics seem to go together like red-eye gravy and grits.
Remember JFK? He swore to the American people that the U.S. had no intention of becoming militarily involved in an invasion of Cuba scant hours before the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.
LBJ? Look up the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in your history book.
Richard Nixon? "I am not a crook!" Turns out that he really was.
George H.W. Bush. Well, we read his lips, but we still paid new taxes out our ying-yangs.
Bill Clinton? "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, that Ms. Lewinski!" The DNA on that blue dress said otherwise.
At least when Ronald Reagan said he couldn't remember, he probably couldn't, since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease not too long after leaving office.
Like I said, lying and politics have gone hand in glove for a while now, and I bet if we looked hard enough we could find a transcript of Thomas Jefferson claiming not to have known Sally Henning - Biblically or otherwise.
So maybe Hillary Clinton was simply trying to appear "presidential" last week when she claimed to have come under sniper fire while visiting Bosnia during her husband's tenure in the White House.
What? Haven't heard about this claim? What's wrong? Don't you stay up for Jay Leno's monologue every night? You may not know about men's room enthusiast Larry Craig, either.
Well, it seems that Hillary - in an apparent effort to back up her claim that she has the experience to answer the red phone at 3 a.m. - made a campaign speech in which she described in great detail how her helicopter came in under sniper fire; how the planned welcoming ceremony had to be cancelled; how she and her party had to run to cover with their heads ducked as they ran from the copter to waiting military vehicles.
Made a good story. Shame there was video available of the incident she described. In the video, she was laughing, talking and standing around outside listening to a little girl read a poem - and not a sniper in sight - or even a firecracker.
Didn't bother Hillary, though. She simply waved it off. "I must have 'misspoke,'" she insisted. "There were no snipers."
Misspoke. So that's what they are calling it now.
I suppose she misspoke when she claimed to have been named for the great adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary, too. Hillary - Sir Edmund, that is - was the first man to climb Mount Everest and would certainly be a well-respected namesake. Trouble is, when Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, Sir Edmund was an unknown flier in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He didn't climb Everest until 1953.
She also misspoke when she claimed to have played on her high school's girls' soccer team - and if they had had one, maybe she would have. But they didn't.
She also misspoke when she talked about how worried she was about her daughter, Chelsea, on Sept. 11 because she was out jogging near the World Trade Center when the planes hit and out of touch for hours. Except she was really at home in Upper Manhattan - with several Secret Service agents at her beck and call.
Yeah. And she had no idea that those cattle futures were going to explode, either, and she really did misplace those travel documents, too.
Between Barack's preacher and Hillary's compulsion to lie when the truth would serve her just as well, all John McCain needs to do is stay out of sight until November. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him around lately. Have you?
Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.