Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bring back the smoke-filled room?

“Instead of a candidate-vetting process carried out quietly by party leaders, it's now done randomly by a Hydra-headed national media. Any flaw or past stumble is metastasized into a public nightmare for spouses and children. So they say No. In their place we get mysterious candidates who have wandered in from Nowhere Land or obscure state senate seats.”

(The debates don’t do a damn bit of good. We get “Whoozis?” candidates, TV gets more ad money, dig-deeper sleaze mongers rake around in the muck trying to find somebody somewhere who will remember the time a hope-to-be candidate did something that could have, might have been something he or she was not supposed to do or say or think or tell a joke about. It’s OK for President Clinton to present himself to a White House intern, but oh good grief this black Republican once worked around white women, so he must have done something. I mean, you know how they are.

(The 1960 Democratic presidential campaign was the first I paid attention to. Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts won the majority of the party primaries, but a few weeks before the convention Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas announced his candidacy for the nomination. When the convention began in Los Angeles, no candidate had a majority of delegates. Kennedy got the nomination, but says, “1960 represented the last time there was true drama in a Democratic convention. Since 1960 the outcomes of the conventions have been known in advance.”

(Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt disagreed with that statement, calling the convention “turbulent--but prearranged …”)

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