NEW YORK – Last month, the folks at the Wonderful Waldo Car Wash (search) in Kansas City, Mo., were perfectly content spraying station wagons and polishing pickup trucks.
That was then.
Now they're jumping whole hog into the political arena in a wacky bid to put Oprah Winfrey (search) in the White House.
Over the weekend, the popular drive-through launched a grass-roots "Draft Oprah" campaign and transformed itself into the "international headquarters" to elect her president in 2004.
Huge Oprah banners now festoon the cement washing stands, and an aquamarine "Oprahmobile" - a restored 1959 Ford Skyliner - is commandeered around town to hawk the virtues of a Winfrey in the West Wing.
Is it a big joke?
Not at all, insists owner Patrick Crowe, who says the talk-show queen is just the ticket to become the nation's first female commander-in-chief.
"I'm not crazy. Oprah is by no means just a talk-show host. She's a television empire who's infinitely successful," Crowe told The Post.
"Compare her to someone like Ross Perot (search), and she's been an even bigger success.
"And one of Oprah's great strengths is surrounding herself with great people - which she would do in Washington."
To whip up interest, Crowe is giving free car washes, usually a $2.50 to $4 value, every Saturday to anybody who signs a petition for Oprah to run.
Adding to the weirdness, he's even hired actors to dress up like Oprah and Dr. Phil McGraw to work the crowds.
What does Oprah's camp say about all this? Believe it or not, they're already acting presidential: no comment.