DENVER—Kicking off his campaign with a promise to order the U.S. military to wipe the sovereign nation off the face of the Earth, presidential candidate John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday his support for using nuclear weapons against Australia just to see if anyone was listening to him. “That’s right—did you hear that? If elected president, I will use our massive thermonuclear arsenal to unrelentingly bombard Australia until it is reduced to a smoking crater,” the former Colorado governor said in a bold effort to gauge whether his candidacy was anywhere close to garnering the kind of media coverage necessary to gain traction in the race for the Democratic nomination. “Let me be perfectly clear: My very first act upon taking the oath of office will be to launch a preemptive and wholly unilateral strike against Australia, employing enough weapons of mass destruction to kill all 25 million of the country’s inhabitants and render the entire continent a toxic, permanently uninhabitable wasteland for thousands of years to come. That’s a promise. Are you all getting this?” Reached for comment, Hickenlooper stated that if his current strategy failed to boost his name recognition in the polls, he would also be willing to endorse government-mandated Bible burnings and legalized pedophilia.