This time, Alaska may have really found a way to fix American politics. The mayor of Talkeetna, Ak. boats sky-high approval ratings, a 15-year winning streak and, with over 6,000 subscribers, more friends than you on Facebook.
His secret? He’s a cat.
Fifteen years ago, the citizens of Talkeetna (pop. 800) didn’t like the looks of their candidates for mayor. Around that same time resident Lauri Stec, manager of Nagley’s General Store, saw a box of kittens and decided to adopt one. She named him Stubbs because he didn’t have a tail and soon the whole town was in love with him.
So smitten were they with this kitten, in fact, that they wrote him in for mayor instead of deciding on one of the two lesser candidates. Mayor Stubbs has held his position ever since.
Many citizens are genuinely happy to allow a kitteh to rule the roost. “He doesn’t raise our taxes—we have no sales tax. He doesn’t interfere with business. He’s honest,” said Stec, who converted her store into a part-time mayor’s office when Stubbs claimed victory. Not even the dogs seem to take issue with their new boss, even though there are reportedly more canines in Talkeetna than there are people. “I’ve never seen a dog mess with him,” a local business owner said.
Stubbs also gives tourists a reason to stop in on their way to Mount McKinley. And, in town Talkeetna’s size, a dozen tourists a day can really make a difference.
The honorable Mr. Stubbs doesn’t have too many responsibilities as mayor, since the town is technically only a “historical district,” says Andi Manning, the president of the Chamber of Commerce explained.
And to be fair, Stubbs isn’t exactly the hardest working man in Alaska. He enjoys the finer things, like drinking water out of a wine glass with catnip in it and having his belly rubbed by his constituents. A clerk of the town describes the polikitten as “very demanding” and in need of many a long nap to get through the mountain of work he doesn’t do.
Hmm, so maybe this isn’t the solution to American politics. But think of how cute the State of the Union would be!