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If his burgeoning presidential campaign is a success, Limberbutt McCubbins will be Washington's newest fat cat in 2016.
Limberbutt is a 30-pound tabby cat from Louisville, Kentucky, that has been registered with the Federal Election Commission as a presidential "Demo-cat" candidate. He was signed up by duPont Manual High School seniors Isaac Weiss and Andrew Valentine, who are friends with Limberbutt's owner, fellow senior Emilee McCubbins, in the school's politics-oriented Y Club. They were bored and watching the seemingly endless list of politicians joining the presidential race when they decided to get Limberbutt involved.
"Isaac and I are pretty heavily involved in youth government, and a few months ago we had a conversation with some other friends in our youth government program about whether or not Limberbutt would be a good president,'' McCubbins told TODAY.com. "We all agreed that he would be a lovely president, and shortly after, Isaac and Andrew signed him up on the FEC's website."
Limberbutt joins luminaries like a crustacean named Crawfish Crawfish, a candidate registered as Sydney's Voluptous Buttocks and the leader of the Helluva Party among the 459 candidates registered with the FEC to run for president in 2016. The cat got its name from cuddling with his family, who say he was so limber he would just melt in their arms, according to his campaign Facebook page. While you have to be at least 35 years old to run for president and Limberbutt is only five human years old, that still translates to 36 in cat years.
"A world with President Limberbutt would be a purrfect world indeed!'' Weiss told TODAY.com. "We'd keep the other fat cats in politics in check, chase out the rats from Washington, etc.''
Limberbutt even has his own buttons and poster, but the campaign is not accepting any donations.
"Neither one of us expected it to go much farther than our friend group,'' McCubbins said. "We've had people all over the world contacting us for interviews or information on donations, and it's been a roller coaster."
Limberbutt's "cat-form" includes creating the "Affordable Cat Act" that will allow all animals to have insurance to pay for important medical procedures/vet appointments, humans and cats exploring the moon together, and legalization of cat nip. Like most of those in the running right now, Limberbutt and his handlers also weighed in on the candidacy of Donald Trump.
"We certainly identify with Trump's campaign, if not his beliefs. A large part of the American public views us as a joke, and yet, we remain surprisingly serious."
While the teens are having fun mocking the crowded presidential race, they also hope to send an underlying message.
"We want our generation to be more involved in politics,'' McCubbins said. "Politics have become a very big part of both my life and Isaac's and have really shown us that we have a voice that matters. The way to change things in your world is to stand up for what you believe in, and in order to do that, you have to be involved in your government - even if said involvement is just voting every November."