PHOTO INDEX: GEORGE WASHINGTON, OUR FIRST PRESIDENT, SENATORS CLINTON AND OBAMA AND OUR 1968 LOGO.
When the story broke on Wednesday night about John McCain's 2000 relationship with a lobbyist who was an attractive young woman 31 years his junior, the old hound dog in me came out and said, "Good on 'ya John". I mean the age thing was like two generations. Then when I remembered my self counseling, I began to look at the story. Here's what I see:
1. It's a story that's 8 years old and not relevant to this race except of course for the special interest connections. But McCain has proven he'll take on those boys and ignore those girls.
2. The story was old. And the only reason it came out was because The New Republic was going to run an inside baseball piece about the Times dithering to run or not run the story.
3. McCain jumped on it immediately calling a 9AM news conference and answering all questions. This was in stark contrast to how the current GOP administration handles bad news.
4. The woman denied it. Better yet, she had no butt ass ugly girlfriend like Linda Tripp who she might or might not have confided in.
5. One has to wonder who can be an alternative to McCain. Mike Huckabee? Maybe Newt Gingrich. But right now, McCain's the guy.
If anything, this story has galvanized support for McCain among the right wing talk show contingent who has more hatred for the New York Times than the Arizona Senator. This is something McCain has been unable to do on his own. Plus, in my favorite political movie of all time, "The Best Man", former President Art Hochsteader played by Lee Tracy says to William Russell, played by Henry Fonda, "Bill, and those stories about your lady friends? Ain't gonna hurt you a bit!"
At last night's debate, at the end, Senator Clinton said to Senator Obama and the people in attendance, that in effect, no matter what happen, things between them would be fine. She only hoped that the same can be said for the American people. The crowd, as they say in sports, went wild. This might have been a tapping on the window by Senator Clinton to say that she might accept the Vice Presidency. It might have been a plea to him to consider it too. The Dems now are in the same place the GOP was in 1980. They wanted to win. Win bad. Reagan had considered taking former President Gerald Ford as a running mate but thought better of it when Ford started to make noises about a co-Presidency. (And they say Reagan was detached!) He wound up picking George Bush as his Vice President even though Bush called his economics "voodoo". Look for this Democratic fight to end well. No one wants to see an extension of a Bush third term, no matter how opposite John McCain appears to be from the current occupant. Watch these deveoplments carefully. Both are wthin shouting distance of the top prize. But the two aren't closing any doors and hollering like a dysfunctional couple yet either.
In the storied history of the U.S. Presidency, only three legislators have won the Presidency out of 43 elected. Congressman James Garfield in 1880, and Senators Warren Harding in 1920 and John F. Kennedy in 1960. All three died in office. This year, with Senators McCain, Obama and Clinton in contention, it will guarantee a Legislator wins the Presidency for only the fourth time.
Two little known facts about our first President, whose birthday is today.
Washington's experiences as a young man made it seem unlikely that he would ever live long enough to achieve greatness. He suffered from malaria, smallpox, pleurisy, and dysentery, all before he was 30. On his way back from the famous expedition to the French Fort le Boeuf, he fell off his raft in an icy river and nearly drowned. Later in the same trip he was shot at (and missed) by an Indian standing less than 50' away. In Braddock's Defeat in 1755, 4 bullets punctured Washington's coat and 2 horses were shot out from under him, but the young officer somehow emerged unscathed.
When the capital was moved from New York to Philadelphia, Washington, who had been disappointed in the food that he had been eating as President, brought his black slave Hercules from Mount Vernon to serve as cook. Pennsylvania law provided that slaves be given their freedom after 6 months' residence in the State. To avoid the possibility of losing the services of his master chef, Washington would send Hercules back to Mount Vernon just before the 6 months were up. Then, several weeks later, he would have him returned to the capital. Hercules, who soon won a reputation in Philadelphia as a flashy and colorful dresser, was much too smart to stand this arrangement for long. One night before the end of Washington's term he disappeared and much to the President's disappointment was never heard from again.
and for all you religious right wingers out there..........
One of the most seriously misleading of the Washington legends is the story of the pious general kneeling in prayer in the snow at Valley Forge. Not only is there no evidence to support this tale, but Washington was notorious in his parish church for his refusal to kneel at any of the customary moments in the Episcopal service. As his minister declared disapprovingly after the President's death, "Washington was a Deist." Although Martha was a devout churchwoman, George never shared her enthusiasm. On communion Sundays he always walked out before taking the eucharist, leaving Martha to participate in the service alone.
Forty years ago this week, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller with great fanfare called a news conference. Everyone was convinced he'd be announcing for the Presidency for the third try. The national networks blocked out time for him too. Instead, he made the decision not to run.......In Harrisburg, Governor Raymond Shafer a huge Rockefeller backer was chagrined and disappointed about Rocky's decision. Shafer stayed loyal to the New York pol, eliminating any chance of a job in the Nixon administration.....locally Stephen Farris, former Luzerne County Democratic Chairman died....Duryea Mayor John Salek, a GOP partisan vetoed the borough budget......On the West Coast, Nanticoke resident Nick Adams was found dead. Adams starred in "The Rebel" TV series and the movie "No Time For Sergeants".....retired Judge Frank Pinola celebrated birthday #75....in Pittston at St. John the Baptist Grade school, the 8th grade class tried out the new TV bought from coed dances seeing Nelson Rockefeller say no to the world on the Presidency and this week in 1968, the late, great Otis Redding had the number 1 song in LuLacland and America with "Sitting On the Dock Of the Bay." From YOU TUBE, Otis! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzrXc68gNjQ