EXTRA: What Gary Coleman Believes

Perhaps you’ve heard that Gary Coleman is running for the Senate, and you’ve wondered if it’s true. We wondered that, too.

And perhaps you’ve wondered, if Gary “Diff’rent Strokes” Coleman were a senator, what kind of senator would he be?

We wondered that, too.

Not to make you feel bad or anything, but we’re better than you because we didn’t settle for merely wondering. We went straight to the former child star source.

On the rooftop of a tony Beverly Hills hotel, at a recent party for the entertainment Web site UGO (www.ugo.com), we cornered 32-year-old Gary Coleman. We asked, he told.

Is he really running for the Senate?

No and yes. He’s not currently running for the Senate (the U.S. Senate, mind you), but he is considering a run. Coleman missed the filing deadlines for the 2000 general elections, but he now has “the information” on how to mount a campaign in the future. “Diff’rent Strokes” Why is he considering a run?

Because his UGO boss (Coleman writes a column for the Web site) suggested it. “And I’m like, you know, that’s a pretty cool idea.” What kind of candidate would Gary Coleman be?

“I have certain ideas and opinions and beliefs about political issues and how I believe things should be run for citizens and cities and counties and towns and states, but that doesn’t make me want to be a politician. I’m not into politics. … That’s my whole platform, I’m a non-politician.” All right, but really … what kind of candidate would Gary Coleman be?

“I’d actually focus on crime and education and things that really bug people.” What is his No. 1 thing?

“My No. 1 thing is law and order — and checks and balances within law and order. And then things within society that need to be changed to eliminate the gulf between the haves and have-nots.” What is his No. 2 thing?

Sorry, we forgot to ask that one. Democrat or Republican?

“I’m running as an Independent.” Paper or plastic?

Oops. Missed that one, too. What are people saying about his potential candidacy?

“Right now, people are like, ‘Cool! We need somebody who’s a non-politician.’” Did he ever think he’d be grow up to be a non-politician?

Not really. “It’s one of those really kind of … [guttural noise: Grrrraaah!] … things that just makes you not want to ever sleep because you’ll have nightmares, but I think with a proper platform and a proper understanding, I think the non-politician could make some non-political decisions.” Could Gary Coleman be more detailed about Gary Coleman’s platform?

“My platform is constructing itself as it goes along, as I discover things that are wrong — things that bother me and bother other people — I add them to my platform. That can be anything from cameras at traffic intersections to … more trains to less cars to more electric cars. … More money for education, more money for teachers, reorganizing police departments. Anything and everything I hear or believe or have an opinion about gets added to my platform.” Is Gary Coleman a registered voter?

“Yes.” What would be the best thing about the Hon. Gary Coleman, U.S. senator?

“You wouldn’t have any guesswork. You wouldn’t have to sit and go, ‘Gee, I wonder how Sen. Coleman would feel about this issue.’ You wouldn’t have to guess. You’d already know.”

And now you know.