Speaking to an audience of troops in Iraq today, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) raised eyebrows by revealing for the first time that his 2004 campaign for the U.S. presidency was “a botched joke.”

“My stiff delivery, my wooden, robot-like hand gestures, were all an attempt on my part to be hilarious,” Sen. Kerry told the troops. “In retrospect, I guess you had to be there.”

For Mr. Kerry, a politician whose demeanor ranges from “dour” to “very dour,” the news that his entire campaign was a botched joke came as a startling revelation.

But despite the fact that his presidential campaign failed to garner the kind of belly laughs he was aiming for, Sen. Kerry told the troops that he planned to skip the 2008 race to focus full time on what he called “my first love, comedy.”

Buddy Schlantz, a veteran talent agent and observer of the show business scene, said that Mr. Kerry’s decision to focus on comedy might be “a good career move,” and suggested that the senator might find some stage time at the Laugh Factory, where “Seinfeld” alumnus Michael Richards memorably performed last month: “I hear they have a slot open.”

But in a sign that he still has a long way to go as a comedian, Mr. Kerry’s final joke to the troops played to cricket-like silence.

“Do you know what happens to comedians who botch a joke?” Mr. Kerry said. “They get stuck in Iraq!”

Elsewhere, the world’s oldest person died at age 116, while the world’s second-oldest person is starring in “Rocky Balboa.”

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is the author of the new book “The Republican Playbook.” To find out more about Andy Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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