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Bush Wins Millard Fillmore Society’s Mediocrity Medal

January 4, 1993 GMT

CASCADE, Colo. (AP) _ President Bush was awarded the Millard Fillmore Society’s tongue-in-cheek ″Medal of Mediocrity″ on Monday, beating out runners-up Woody Allen, Vice President Dan Quayle and the Postal Service.

The group said Bush clinched its 1992 award when his popularity plummeted from a record high after the Persian Gulf War and he lost the Nov. 3 presidential election to Bill Clinton.

″Fresh from the flutter of a million yellow ribbons and a 90 percent approval rate, President Bush belly-flopped like a wounded swan into the lake of American despair,″ said Phil Arkow, vice president of the nationwide group.

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″He finally ‘got it’ on Nov. 3 when his ‘vision thing’ led to Bush league bumbling in the ballot box,″ Arkow said.

The award, established in 1980, is given each January, around the time of Fillmore’s birthday, which was Jan. 7. It honors ″mediocrity to combat the rising tide of overachievers,″ Arkow said.

Fillmore, the nation’s 13th president, took office when his predecessor, Zachary Taylor, died in 1850. He was defeated in 1852 and finished a distant third when he ran again in 1856.

Quayle, who won the award in 1988, was named a runner-up this year for his misspelling of the word potato during a New Jersey spelling bee.

Allen was cited for the very-public troubles in his private life, and the Postal Service was singled out for ″subjecting consumers to the expensive debate on which Elvis Presley stamp they want to be overcharged for.″

Other previous winners have included announcer Ed McMahon, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana, former baseball star Pete Rose and singer Boy George.