My Vermont Hazing

<%image(20060102-fred.jpg|80|105|fred)%> As a resident of Vermont, it was necessary for my family to haze me with the movie Man With A Plan, starring Fred Tuttle as himself. It’s the hairbrained story of a Vermont dairy farmer who is down on his luck, can’t make a buck, and decides that the only way a man with little education and no job experience beyond his farm work can find a job, is to get into politics and run for Congress. His campaign slogan: “Why Not Fred.”

<%image(20060102-man with a plan.jpg|144|260|manwithaplan)%> At times it was a painfully slow and boring movie. Other moments were just brilliant and hilarious. The cast is mostly local Vermonters, friends of Fred and of the filmmaker. So it’s not too hard to get the local flavor of the characters. One particularly hilarious scene was a debate in which Fred is asked about Taxes and he says, “I know all about Texas. The state flower is the Blue Bonnet.” When corrected that the questions was about “taxes,” Fred comments, “I always say, don’t mess with taxes.”

Fred’s successful campaign ran on something like $40 and had the focus of a simple acrostic:
F: Friendly
R: Renewable
E: Extra-terrestrial
D: Dinky

The crazy thing is that after starring in this independent film, Tuttle actually ran in the Republican primary for Vermont in 1998 and beat a millionaire who moved to Vermont. After his victory, Tuttle endorsed Patrick Leahy, admitting openly that he did not want to win. article