To: Stalled Presidential Candidates

From: Dick Morris

Subject: Let’s Kill Hsing-Hsing

Item: China is fast emerging as America’s new global antagonist.

The recently released Cox report casts particular suspicion on

Chinese citizens living in America.

Item: Hsing-Hsing, the National Zoo’s remaining panda,

is Chinese.

Item: Welfare recipients have been reliable villains at home

throughout the ’90s. Kicking people off the dole always makes

good politics.

Item: Hsing-Hsing has been living in government-

subsidized splendor for 28 years.

Item: Family values are another key component of modern

political rhetoric. Beating up on lousy husbands is an especially

potent way to get attention.

Item: Hsing-Hsing was a surly mate who failed to love, honor, and knock up his late partner, Ling-Ling.

Item: Hsing-Hsing is ill. The National Zoo is providing him thousands in socialized veterinary care, and telling us we have

to save the panda.

Conclusion: No, we don’t. Let’s kill the bear.

Those of you who’ve done photo ops with Hsing-Hsing know he is as much fossil as attraction. The panda looks and acts more like a couch in a badly decorated bachelor pad than an exotic beast from a far-off land. If we’re serious about this re-inventing government stuff, that means using public facilities like the National Zoo for the public good. And the American public deserves better attractions than a lazy, smelly bear. Your campaign should be the first to propose euthanizing this oversized Beanie Baby.

It makes tremendous political and strategic sense. Back when Nixon garnered the panda after making nice with China, Hsing-Hsing was an important symbol of international peace. Now he seems to be a furry fig leaf for China’s bad intentions. While we were staring longingly into Hsing-Hsing’s eyes and posting get-well e-mails, his Chinese buddies were breaking into supercomputers at Los Alamos and stealing tons of proprietary nuclear information. Why keep Hsing-Hsing around when his whole presence here has been a lie?

Besides, the panda’s layabout ways send the wrong message. Why go out and forage for food when the zoo keeper will be coming around at 4 o’clock with a nice, heaping bowl of bamboo? Let’s show Hsing-Hsing—and the world—that there’s no free lunch.

At 28, Hsing-Hsing has lived almost twice as long as most pandas in the wild. He’s had a good run, so why are the feds letting him hang on? It couldn’t be because the replacement cost for a panda is more than $1 million per unit, could it? Cement the Hsing-Hsing gambit—and lots of wonderful headlines—by blasting the zoo for propping up an ailing animal as a cynical ploy to continue the endless flow of visitors and donations.

And then help send Hsing-Hsing off to that great bamboo forest in the sky.