Guess I’m in one of those “silver lining” moods today, even though it’s rainy, near-icy and I’ve had to miss walking for two days now.
But, all that aside, I find a weird kind of inspiration in the pathetic flop of Fred Thompson’s campaign and the impending flopperoo of Rudy G, unless an army of retired New Yorkers now suntanning in Florida come to his aid next week.
Why? My elation has nothing to do with their positions, whatever they are, or their personalities, which are no more flawed than the typical pol’s, or the typical citizen’s for that matter. In fact, I dislike them less than I dislike some other people still hanging in the race.
But here’s why I’m elated: Their expensive failures show that there is still mystery, spontaneity, and unscripted life in our politics.
Every year we hear how more and more politicians wouldn’t wear a blue shirt or a pair of Rockports without running it past five consultants and two focus groups. The whole process seems cautious, timid, pollster-driven and soulless.
So when two famous pols hop in the race, lurch around cluelessly, spend millions and fail, it reminds us that not everything has been reduced to a Consultant’s Manual of Correct Campaigning. There’s still room for pratfalls and screwups. There’s still mystery. There’s still reverse innovation–figuring out new ways to do something stupidly.
There’s still the question: “What in the world were these guys thinking?”