Friday, October 3, 2008

Heartbeat

John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner of Texas enjoyed a successful Congressional career, rising to the powerful position of Speaker of the House. Then he served twice as Vice President for FDR. Garner said the Vice Presidency was “not worth a warm bucket of spit.” Reporters may have cleaned up the spelling for newspaper decorum of the day.

Vice-Presidential candidates do not usually swing elections. They should. They are a heartbeat away from being President.

In my lifetime:

FDR died in office. Truman became President. Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President Richard Nixon ran for President three times, won twice. JFK was assassinated. LBJ was sworn in as President on Air Force One. Nixon resigned, under impeachment threat. Gerald Ford assumed office. In addition, Ronald Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush was elected President. Bill Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore was an important member of the Clinton team and lost his bid for the Presidency by the narrowest and most questionable of margins. George W. Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney may have been the most powerful Vice President in history and certainly one of the most controversial.

The televised Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin has made Republicans happy, because Gov. Palin exceeded expectations after the merciless exposure of interviews by Katie Couric, that infamous journalistic brute. Palin raised the bar from babbling ignorance to perky wrong-headedness. Asked about how she saw the job of Vice President, Palin said the Constitution was “flexible” and allowed “whatever we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans for this nation.” Not exactly. The U.S. Constitution actually says the office of Vice President shall exist. Otherwise the Vice President is a bench warmer, presiding officer of the Senate but unable to vote except in a tie and standing by in case the President dies.

Palin also declared her support for building an American Embassy in Jerusalem, a world-class diplomatic nightmare second only to stationing U.S. troops in Mecca. She offered a peculiarly ambiguous statement in favor of legal rights for gay partners to inherit property and visit in hospitals. Somebody must have coached her on an old memo from Vice President Cheney’s office. Nonetheless, conservatives will be able to look on the bright side. She accused Obama and Biden of waving “the white flag of surrender” in Iraq. She banished the ghost of Tina Fey that has haunted her recently, replacing it with the reminder of George Bush back when he was full of the confidence of the clueless. If the election were for captain of the hockey moms or which Joe buys the next six-pack, she wins. But we already know what eight years would be like having a President the guys and gals at work would want to have a beer with. Maybe we should elect somebody who knows spit.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine how the nation would have reacted to a male candidate who winked and talked about Joe Six Pack, and looked perky and cute while ducking around questions.

Tina said...

Bill, this is absolutely one of your best & I have fwd the link to a whole lot of people on my list.
Did you know that the Republicans actually have tee shirts and pins that say I'M FOR THE OLD GUY AND THE HOT CHICK ? Can it possibly get more inane? To paraphrase Eliot, "This is the way the GOP ends--not with a bang but a giggle."

Paw Paw Bill said...

Thank you for your comments, as well as for sharing. I suspect inane knows no limit. It can, and probably will, get nastier.

 

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