Friday, August 29, 2008
At moments like these, it's a pleasure to be a part of academia because one can wander the halls and ask political scientists (PS) what they think of McCain's choice for the candidate for Vice President.
1. PS #1: I cannot explain the choice, so I will not try to explain the choice.
2. PS #2: Whether the choice is good or not depends entirely on who wins the spin-game. The GOP will try to spit the choice as a) good for women [an appeal to women who voted for Senator Clinton] and b) good for conservatives. The Dems will spin it as . . . this person is not qualified to be president, should McCain be elected and then perish.
3. PS #3: The selection makes no sense. Strictly from a political standpoint, it is nutty.
A mere poet, I watch in fascination and wonder why McCain didn't select Kay Hutchinson if the tactic was to appeal to women and conservatives. or Mike Huckabee if the tactic was to appeal to conservatives and those interested in "executive experience."
My own opinion, which is at least worthless, is that McCain had some kind of appeal-to-women in mind but is insecure and did not want to select someone from the primary-race and is also impulsive to the point of recklessness.
I also treaded online turf and sought opinions about the worst vice presidents in history. Of course, one must be a vice president of the U.S. first before one is judged, so McCain's or Obama's choices must first be elected to be eligible to be judged.
Anyway, apparently Burr [dismissed as Veep-candidate, he eventually killed Alexander Hamilton]; Calhoun; Tyler; Agnew [even Nixon thought Agnew was not qualified to hold the post--ouch]; and Quayle. The newspaper The Guardian in the U.K. gave Teddy Roosevelt, Al Gore, Lyndon Johnson, and Dick Cheney high marks. That last one puzzled me; after all, Dick did get liquored up and then proceeded to shoot his friend in the face, he lost his composure badly in the Senate, and he probably egged Bush II to occupy Iraq, out a CIA agent, and conduct illegal wiretaps. On the other hand, Dick has made the most of the post, so I guess that's the logic.
I couldn't unearth any information about Vice Presidents and poetry, but I'm still looking.
I think that after several decades of observing politics, I have come to the point at which I regard presidential politics especially as a kind of surreal poem. Of course, I do wish our nation and the rest of the world the best, but I must confess I do not understand politics as much more than a spectacle which, nonetheless, does affect people's lives, eventually. On the other hand, Veep rhymes with Jeep, so there's that.
C'est le guerre.