Campaign Baby Tells of Exploitation in New Autobiography

Campaign baby John Seymour cringes in the moments following a smooch from presidential candidate Richard Nixon in 1968. This once kissed, poked and prodded child bears all in his recent book Kissed by Dick.

By Delia Hersh

CLEARWATER – John Seymour, a 45-year-old Florida resident, recently stepped forward to recount his childhood as “that cute baby who got kissed by presidential candidates in pictures.”

In John Seymour’s memoir Kissed By Dick, he describes his parents’ decision to sell their baby to Richard Nixon for the sole purpose of making the presidential candidate appear like a human being.

“Mom and Dad were struggling to raise me and my six siblings,” explains Seymour. “I had the chubbiest cheeks, the most dimpled smile, and the least baby acne, so they picked me.”

“I was an exceptionally cute kid,” Seymour writes in Chapter 1. “I had very malleable features, so with the right makeup, I could look like any minority the candidate was going after that day.”

According to Seymour’s book, he is by no means the only victim of this clichéd practice. The illegal trade of campaign babies has been around since the days of Jackson, but no one has yet been brave enough to step forward.

“Campaign babies, such as myself, are carted along the campaign trail to be used when voters begin to suspect that a candidate is the soulless, brain-eating zombie he actually is. In today’s era, the cutest babies can get eBay prices up to $29.99 plus shipping and handling.”

Seymour hopes his book will raise awareness of the terrible emotional and physical plight that campaign babies endure in their years working for the candidate.

“It’s more than just the constant traveling,” says Seymour in Chapter 12, titled “The Other Trail of Tears.” “I have a permanently indented forehead from all the kissing, and the constant smiling paralyzed my cheek muscles. The emotional toll of being around people with the same capacity for affection as Hitler on a bad day can really mess you up later in life.”

“When the child grows too old or stops being cute, the campaign manager usually dumps him/her at the nearest Wal-Mart,” Seymour discloses in Chapter 25 “From Clearance to Clearwater”.  In other cases, children are donated to the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund, where they spend the following years working the Fry-o-later.

In the final chapters of his book, Seymour relates his long journey to recovery, in which he struggled to overcome his fear of voting booths, American flags, and C-SPAN. Only recently has he been able to kiss his own son on the head without triggering night terrors.

However, Seymour concludes with a positive message for his readers. “I’ve put my life back together and begun my crusade against the selling and trading of adorable children,” he writes.  “I have no education, I suffer from major PTSD, and I have zero qualifications. But who knows? I may even run for president one day.”

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