A few hours after Donald Trump locked up the Republican Party's nomination Tuesday evening, notorious presidential candidate Vermin Love Supreme — he of the dental puns and the free ponies for all Americans platform
— says that he is seeking it.
"If you were watching me down in the delegate zone, you'd see so many Trumpsters love me," Supreme says, laying in the grass at Kirtland Park
, head no longer adorned with boot. "But I'm seeking Cruz delegates, trying to flip them, maybe in the third ballot or something like that."
When Supreme is informed that Trump secured the Republican nomination that very evening, he shrugs.
"Fuck it, I got no reason anybody should support me. I got no fucking reason. They like me or they don't. I don't care."
(Vermin Supreme has been a hardcore political performance artist slash legit candidate for years. But more importantly, he is a warm and convivial, if deeply offbeat, man. This interview is conducted from the crook of Vermin Supreme's arm, where he'd beckoned a reporter eager to hear his candidacy outlined for the benefits of an alt-weekly readership. His beard is generous. His laughter is hearty.)
Supreme has been campaigning hard in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He's been in town since Saturday, staying at a series of "undisclosed locations," the next of which very well might be Kirtland Park, where a couple dozen protesters have been camping with the city's blessing
He says that he's been delivering his messages in support of free speech and free assembly to supportive crowds downtown. Many Clevelanders have shown their appreciation by taking him to their favorite local haunts: Wonder Bar, Happy Dog.
"I'm the most straightforward candidate," Supreme says, to explain the reception. "I'm not evil."
That's well and good, but what about the prospects for getting on the ballot in Ohio and elsewhere?
"Super slim," Supreme admits. "I might be on the general election ballot in New Jersey, but not quite enough to tip the balance. I ain't gonna be president, but it's okay. I'm a realist. I'm a pragmatist. I can say with certainty that I've lost more voters to Bernie than any other candidate. But there's a still a lot of good will coming my way."
Emanuel Wallace / Scene
Vermin Love Supreme in downtown Cleveland on Day 2 of the RNC.