1. That he exists. Vladimir Franz is a drama professor, painter and composer with a law degree who is also running for president of the Czech Republic. Apparently Eastern Europe has more than 24 hours in a day.
2. He is not an X-Man. In addition to the 90% of his body that's tattooed, he also has a variety of body piercings and has been known to dye his hair blue. Essentially he's Dennis Rodman, except people take him seriously.
3. He is a viable candidate. People take him so seriously that he's currently polling in third place with approximately 11% of the vote. He's particularly popular among young people because duh look at how cool he looks.
4. He does things on the cheap. About $25,000 in donations. Any of our politicians would run squealing into the night if they had to walk past that campaign budget in a dark alley.
5. He wrote an opera. Franz composed an operatic adaptation of War of the Newts by Karel Čapek for the State Opera. It's not about Newt Gingrich, but it could be if you just squint your eyes a little bit.
6. This wasn't his idea. Not only did a friend persuade him to run for office by starting a petition that eventually got 88,000 signatures, but a leading economist and his entire campaign staff are volunteers. And he doesn't even have to email them every day (President OBAMA!).
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Tags: Barack Obama, Czech Republic, Newt Gingrich, Vladimir Franz