Candidates invade Ohio

# 341, October 31, 2004

COLUMBUS: All four of the big candidates are in Ohio today… Bush, Kerry, Cheney, Edwards. They’re all here. They descended on Ohio and said they aren’t gonna leave until every registered voter in the state, a hundred percent of them, agree to vote Tuesday. At least once.

These four have been here all along, just not at the same time. Why, I bet this is the first time they’ve ever been in the same state on the same day. Or for that matter, even in Washington, D.C.

Ohio is looking for a huge voter turnout. Right here in Franklin County they have 850,000 registered to vote. Out of a voting age population of 825,000 that ain’t bad. Cleveland says they have 20,000 that’s registered to vote in Ohio and Florida.

So don’t be surprised if the total count equals the number of bonafide registered living voters, kinda the way it used to be in Chicago plus a few dead ones.

Well, politics ain’t all that’s been in the news. After 86 years the Boston Red Sox broke the spell, with some help from a full moon and a total eclipse. The St. Louis Gashouse Gang had a great season but they picked the wrong time to run out of gas. The Red Sox had Curt Shilling, and the Cardinals didn’t have any pitchers even close to Dizzy Dean.

College football had the Bedlam Battle in Oklahoma . The Sooners held on to beat the Cowboys. That football game was just a preliminary to the bedlam in their Senate election Tuesday. In Florida the Big 3 lost, which is almost as rare as the Red Sox winning the World Series.

Old Osama bin Laden tried to horn in on our election. He didn’t come right out and say who he’s for, but from the tone of the message I would say he favors Ralph Nader.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Conditions and not oratory is going to settle this next election.” Radio broadcast, June 9, 1935

“There is only one redeeming thing about this whole election. It will be over at sundown, and let everybody pray that it’s not a tie, for we couldn’t go through with this thing again.” DT #1953, Nov. 7, 1932

Candidates competing with sunshine and baseball

# 340, Oct. 21, 2004

GAINESVILLE, Fla: It’s 85 degrees in this college town, sun is shining (except when it’s raining), and the students are all wearing shorts. And politicians here think folks are paying attention to them.

The World Series has the Red Sox against the Cardinals. For a while we thought it might be Massachusetts versus Texas, the same as the Presidential Series, but St. Louis slipped in there and knocked out Houston. These old historic baseball towns will put on a good show.

I read where Senator Kerry is shooting geese in Ohio today and President Bush is hunting for votes in Pennsylvania. They’re both heading down here this weekend. Meanwhile Ralph Nader is doing all he can to avoid getting goose eggs on election day.

The Soccer playoffs start this weekend. Now, we know the rest of the world gets excited over soccer, but in the United States it struggles to get attention, and I think I figured out their problem. Of all the teams in these playoffs, not a one of them has won even half their games. If the best team can’t win half the time, who knows what the worst ones do. Well, what they do is play for ties, and nobody does it better than soccer teams, not even hockey, if they were playing, which they’re not. In these soccer championship games if they all end up as ties, well, to decide who gets the trophy and which fans get to celebrate I guess they’ll just flip a coin. It’ll probably land on edge.

From all the campaigning here in Florida one thing you can be sure of. They don’t want another tie.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“My idea of the height of conceit would be a political speaker that would go on the air when that world series is on.” DT #683, Oct. 3, 1928

The World lost a Hero in Christopher Reeve

Oct. 17, 2004

CLEVELAND: Ohio is mourning, and not just because the Buckeyes have forgotten how to play football. Christopher Reeve had many friends and supporters here.

Heros of his stature are rare today. He was a person who endured unbearable pain and limitations, yet remained so positive and optimistic that millions of people who heard him speak are motivated to use a bit more of their God-given talents.

Like many other folks, I got to hear him at one of those huge all-day motivational seminars. Actually at two of them. Not only hear him, but see him up close because I was also there to take pictures.

Now, any time you see me wearing a tie you’ll also see a tie bar with a presidential seal on it. That’s thanks to Christopher Reeve.

See, this was in the late 1990’s and President and Mrs. Bush were also on the program and they asked to visit Mr. Reeve back stage. Naturally they wanted pictures, and believe me I shot plenty. And as we walked out of that private room the former president handed me his tie bar with a request to make sure he got prints. Yes, the tie bar was given me by a president, but only because he requested a visit with this hero.

I got to see him again last year, speaking to a huge crowd, and also kinda mingling with a small group. The friendly, smiling man you have seen in interviews, replayed lately on Larry King and other television shows, is exactly the same gracious, caring and hopeful individual I saw that day.

Oh, did I tell you he has a 12-year old son named Will?

I was in Akron yesterday. Spoke at the famous Tangiers Night Club, to the College Club, a group of about a hundred wonderful professional women. They remind me of the Pocahontas Club in Oklahoma.

Tomorrow I’m flying to Florida, continuing my fact-finding tour of battleground states. See, one fact I read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today is that Senator Kerry bought a hunting license in Ohio, and plans to go after big game near Youngstown later this week. I think voters might want to know how many states he has bought a license in, and just how many deer, elk, moose, gators and other wild beasts he intends to shoot before Nov. 2.

President Bush just left Florida so there’s bound to be something for me to stumble on down there, or step in.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“You must judge a man’s greatness by how much he will be missed.” WA #139, August 9, 1925

“Darn it, why is it the good ones are the ones that go, that’s one thing about an ornery Guy, you never hear of him dying. He is into everything else but a Coffin.” WA #461, October 25, 1931

“With all the various Candidates you get your issues so confused that nobody knows what they are voting for. You have to vote for somebody you don’t want to, to keep somebody worse out.” WA #157, Dec. 13, 1925

“Every time we have an election we get in worse men, and the country keeps right on going. Times have only proven one thing, and that is that you can’t ruin this country even with politics.” WA #305, Oct. 28, 1928

Debaters work to scare up a few votes

# 338, Oct. 8, 2004

COLUMBUS: The second debate just ended, and some folks are surprised the President did better. But Missouri is an hour early so he was awake tonight. He couldn’t get the debate changed to the lunch hour, so they compromised on 8 o’clock. Next week we’ll expect him to be even sharper because it’ll be in Arizona where they’ll start at 6.

It was a good debate tonight. The poll takers haven’t told us yet who won, but we pretty much know where they stand. The ranks of the so-called Undecided Voter are thinning. It’s down to about 6 in the whole country. And half of them must be in Ohio, the way the ads are still barking at us here.

The big chore facing the candidates isn’t to get people to decide who to vote for; it’s to convince ’em to vote at all. We know about half will vote. The challenge is to make sure it’s your half.

I’m heading to West Virginia, another one of these battleground states. The old state is all dressed up, looking mighty pretty. See, Martha Stewart arrived today, and they wanted to make a good impression.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“So much money is being spent on the campaigns that I doubt if either man, as good as they are, are worth what it will cost to elect them.” DT #687, Oct. 8, 1928

Some folks say I look like Will Rogers. And I give a lot of talks as Will Rogers that are entertaining and help people feel good about who they are and what they do. To hire me, call  614-876-6942

Baseball, Debates and Martha Stewart draw Will’s attention

# 337, Oct. 1, 2004

COLUMBUS: The debate season opened last night. Hunting season is a few weeks away, so the deer and elk are safe. It’s the voters that’s being used for target practice. Most folks say the debate was a draw, at least the ones who listened to it. Senator Kerry did a credible job explaining where he stands. President Bush repeated his position in the first twenty minutes, and the for the rest of the hour and a half he looked kinda bored, probably like most of us that watched the whole thing.

Actually Mr. Bush wasn’t bored, he was sleepy. He’s usually in bed, sound asleep by 9 pm, so he may insist the next debate be held at noon.

Martha Stewart learned where she will be spending the next five months. She wanted to stay in Connecticut to be close to her mother, or in Florida till she saw what hurricanes can do to home furnishings. But no, she’s headed for federal prison in West Virginia. She won’t be close to home, but she is practically neighbors with that famous resort, The Greenbrier. The woman who shot President Ford is down there. In the prison, not The Greenbrier.

I hope they let her out once in a while, at least to sit on the porch. West Virginia is beautiful this time of year.

Some say it was spite by the judge that got her sent her to West Virginia. But I have a different theory; I figure the whole thing was arranged by Senator Byrd. Yes sir, he brought the FBI to his home state, and roads and bridges and the Social Security Administration, so why not Martha.

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Randall Reeder gives a talks as “Will Rogers” that are entertaining and help people feel good about who they are and what they do. Call for more information: 614-292-6648 or 614-876-6942
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Washington, D.C. is getting a baseball team again. Years ago they had a team called the Senators. I don’t know what they’ll call ’em now, but I doubt if it’s Senators. They’ve got enough problems without being saddled with that.

Think about it. Senators are always away on weekends so home games would have to be played Tuesday to Thursday. Not only are they out of Washington, they’re usually in some foreign country, on kind of a road trip. So on weekends they would have to play on foreign soil, and not just Puerto Rico like last summer.

Maybe they could go against the Reds in China, or even North Korea. The best match-up would be Dodgers against the Senators, no matter where it’s played; nobody dodges better than a Senator. And if you want to draw a sell-out crowd, let ’em take on the Cardinals in Rome.

So as a nickname, Senators is out. But I do have a suggestion; you know how a team wants to project an image of power, of success, of domination, of always winning. Well, there’s only one name for them: the Washington Lobbyists.

Speaking of Washington, next time you’re there go see the new Indian Museum. They tell me it is chock full of history, both old and modern. Indians have contributed family heirlooms to help the rest of us understand and appreciate the culture.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“Been reading a lot about politics. Up in old Massachusetts the Republicans are in a dog fight among themselves. Mr. Gillette’s time is soon up as a Senator and he wants to withdraw and let ex_President Coolidge run. Then the Democrats have dug up another Coolidge, who is a Democrat. That’s the blamedest State for curiosities. Wouldn’t that be a hot race with a Coolidge on both sides?” DT #971, Sept. 5, 1929