(This is the 4th in a series of postings “bought and paid for” by contributors to tsunami relief, as proffered here. This one is for Scott, who really, REALLY made me work for it. Thanks heaps, Scott.)
I recently had some major computer problems, and had to do a restore on my system. Somehow in the process, I managed to “recover” a posting I won’t write until the summer of 2008. It’s an interesting peek into the future, so I thought I’d share it here.
Well, Rummie did it to me AGAIN. You’d think I’d get tired of being wrong when it comes to predicting his actions, but apparently I don’t. Let’s see just how well I’ve done tracking the progress of the Republican nominee for president:
1) When he survived the terrorist attack back in 2005 that claimed the life of his wife, I said he’d stay on as Secretary of Defense, out of the feeling of duty and the need to “get back” at the terrorists. Instead, he resigned.
2) When he resigned and went into seclusion, I said we’d seen the last of him and wrote a glowing send-off to “this man who has paid for his public service with his dearest blood.” I was actually writing a first draft of his obituary, which I expected I’d need within a year or so.
3) When he emerged from his “exile” and announced he was running for president, I said the American people would never vote for a man in his 70’s, especially one who was making the “war on terror” a personal crusade. But apparently his quiet appeal for “one last chance to serve his country” and “keep more Americans from suffering the kind of personal loss I have felt” touched a lot of people.
4) I said that the other candidates (McCain, Frist, Guiliani, etc.) would fight to the bitter end for the nomination. In my defense, I don’t think any other pundits foresaw the mass concession of last April that left Rumsfeld the only serious candidate in the field.
And now we come to my latest prediction. I said that Rumsfeld would tap Condoleezza Rice (to reach outside the “white male” demographic that has held the Executive branch from day one) or Guiliani (another “victim” of terrorism who has shown a willingness and ability to fight back). But once again Rumsfeld made me look stupid.
Who the hell would have thought, after Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and (most recently) John Kerry, the Republicans would pick ANOTHER Massachusetts politician for the national ticket? But, in retrospect, Mitt Romney is a fantastic complement to Rumsfeld. His youthful appearance, his social moderation (bordering on liberalism), his genteel manner, all serve to counterbalance Rumsfeld. On the other hand, both come with that certain “gravitas” and quiet integrity. Romney has actually managed to do some pretty good things in Massachusetts, despite their legislature being completely owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Democrats.
Rumsfeld and Romney. Damn, I never saw that coming. But I can hear the chants already.
“R for Rumsfeld! R for Romney! R for Republican! R for right now!”
I still worry, though. I don’t think this is the right ticket to beat the Clinton/Obama juggernaut. But, as I said above, I’m getting used to being wrong.