The Daily Reckoning has no voice in the US presidential elections. But we will nevertheless declare a preference. Were he to toss his hat in the ring, we would line up behind former Senator Jon Corzine. The ex-Goldman chief has the experience that America needs. He has been a front-runner in politics…and in the world of finance, what he doesn’t know about front running is probably not worth knowing. Presuming, however, that Corzine will be too busy fending off lawsuits or jail sentences, our next choice is Republican Newt Gingrich. Of course, we find him completely repulsive, who wouldn’t? But we believe he’s the man of the hour. History needs him, to carry on the work of Bush and Obama, hustling the great nation on its way to Hell.
It is rare for a decent man to seek public office. He is ashamed of pandering. He is embarrassed by the stupidity of his own slogans. He is appalled by the low-lifes and quasi criminals with whom he must associate and from whom he must beg support.
They are all swarming around Newt Gingrich now. The handlers, pollsters, word polishers, idea chiselers, fund raisers, donors, hangers on, groupies, roadies – carpet-bagging rascals every one of them. Now they’ve got the scent in their nostrils. Their chests heave. The hearts pump. If they can just keep their man Newt from blowing himself up they’ll be in high cotton for at least 4 years. One will head a commission or a cushy seat at the UN. Another will get a contract to provide the pentagon with new ID badges. Another will ride into a remote Congressional seat on Newt’s coattails. Power. Money. If Newt wins, they win. Newt’s women will think themselves smarter and prettier. The men among them will feel their most private part growing bigger.
American presidential candidates generally fall into three categories. Those who are obviously incompetent. Those who are scalawags. And those who are jackasses. The job of the voters is to choose the defect most suited to the time.
Winston Churchill was a disaster as First Lord of the Admiralty during WWI; the Gallipoli campaign was his doing. Then, on how to deal with the Iraqi insurgents, circa 1920, he offered this advice: Use chemical weapons “against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment,” he suggested, adding, “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes to spread a lively terror.” Later, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he put Britain back on the gold standard, but at a level that was bound to cause trouble. It came, in 1929.