This isn't the first time that a complete unknown has come so close to the presidency-at least not if one includes Hollywood fantasies. The best of them is Being There, a movie made during the last period of national distress in which a mild-mannered and subnormal gardener played by Peter Sellers stumbles into the political spotlight. His bromides on the seasons are taken as reassuring economic wisdom; his television interviews test off the charts; and in the final scene the party establishment clutches at him as their savior much as the McCain campaign selected Sarah Palin. After the jump, a clip crosscut with moments from this year's campaign; but first, some dialogue.

"What do we know about the man?"
"Absolutely nothing."
"We don't have an inkling about the man."
"That could be an asset."