With 16 Democratic candidates competing in the 2020 presidential primary and more expected to announce, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama shocked political observers on Monday when he revealed that he has set up a committee to explore the possibility of joining the race.

“People say that the Dalai Lama, he cannot be president,” the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “but if you stop and reflect more deeply—with a clear, discerning mind—then you will see that US politics is all very unusual, and so, yes, a Dalai Lama president is not that much weirder.”

Rejecting the “dualism” of the two party system, the Dalai Lama said he would run as an “interdependent” candidate on a platform of “ending all suffering.”

Sources close to Sen. Bernie Sanders said that he was disappointed to lose the mantle of oldest candidate to the 83-year-old Dalai Lama but said he hopes to find common ground with his Medicare for All Sentient Beings plan.

President Donald Trump responded to the announcement on Twitter. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that the very Low Energy Dalai Lama was really born in Tibet and is INEDIBLE for preserdent,” he wrote.

Update: Sources told Tricycle that Maitreya, the future incarnation of the Buddha on Earth, is also weighing the possibility of moving up his birth to qualify for the 2056 election.

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