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Run for president? Could I instead be eaten alive by carpenter ants?

Wednesday's signs of our times -- on Late Show with David Letterman and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Photos: Ed Bark

Thinking of running for president?

Me neither.

Such foolish pursuits are only for those who crave being held in even lower esteem than the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Kim Karashian or the Octomom. Which is a shame.

I'm not championing either Rick Perry's or Herman Cain's presidential candidacies. Both have been their own worst enemies at times, with Perry flailing about in debates and Cain seemingly self-imploding under the close scrutiny he's received since becoming the Republican Party's outta-nowhere frontrunner.

But the above signboards, respectively from Wednesday's editions of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman and Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, show how easy it is to diminish the entire enterprise to the point of sub-absurdity. Cue the calliope music.

The Rick Perry: Drunk? graphic heralded what Letterman billed as a new nightly feature. It's of course tied to the Texas governor's at times unusually goofy speech last week to a group of Manchester, NH Republicans.

The Grope? visual, an offshoot of the 2008 Obama campaign's "Hope" poster, harkens to the still anonymous sexual harassment charges against Cain. They date to his tenure in the late 1990s as head of the National Restaurant Association.

In the end, we always get the leaders we deserve. But we're reaching the point -- or perhaps we already have -- when running for the presidency is nothing but a fool's errand. Anyone with a brain in their head -- or even a teeny tiny skeleton in their closet -- is not going to be dumb enough to take a shot at becoming the so-called leader of the free world.

In today's all-encompassing media circus-sphere, could even George Washington get elected? Don't make me laugh. The guy had wooden teeth! And that cherry tree-chopping story? Phonier than a three-dollar bill.

Dwight D. Eisenhower? Yeah, he was an unparalleled World War II general and all. But he allegedly had a mistress while revving up for D Day! Suggested Late Show or Daily Show graphic: "Ike's Military Baring?" Or "Ike Serving A Broad?"

Maybe I'm over-reacting. But the pursuit of the highest office in the land is becoming something you'd wish on your worst enemy. And seriously, it won't be very funny in the end. Either for us or for our offspring.