Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, May 4, 2008
ISSUE #499
#499, May 4, 2008

Will suggests Presidents work in shifts

COLUMBUS: I suspect that Howard Dean and the rest of the Democratic party wish I would quit reminding you folks about their 1924 Convention.

For more than a year they’ve been battling for the nomination on CNN, MSNBC, and all but one of the other television networks, and they can’t seem to break the deadlock. This week they finally admitted they needed help. They are appealing to the viewers of Fox News to sort out the mess. I don’t know if it’ll work; up to now those Fox viewers have not heard many compliments for either Clinton or Obama. Or, for that matter, even McCain.

Since they have openly admitted a need for aid, I dug into the records of the 1924 convention and uncovered an idea that the American people might go for. That convention had already been in session for eight long days, with three equally qualified candidates, and no end in sight when I wrote the suggestion below (July 2, 1924). By coincidence we have three candidates today, and I’m taking the liberty to insert their names in here also.

“I was awfully glad to meet [John W. Davis], as I already knew the other two leading candidates, Mr. William McAdoo and Al Smith. They are all great fellows. I hate to see one win because I will hate to see the other two lose.
How would this do? Put in all three and put on three eight-hour shifts. Divide the work.
Let Mr. Davis (McCain), on account of his European experience, attend to all foreign affairs, also social ones. Let McAdoo (Obama) handle the money, the labor questions and the railroads, and let Al Smith (Clinton) take a big stick and club those politicians into line and make them do something. A combination like that would be unbeatable. Elect them for life; then they wouldn’t have to worry about where they were going from there. They could give all their time to their work.”

Of course nobody saw fit to adopt my plan in ’24, so I doubt if it will be accepted in ’08. But still… can’t you see Mr. McCain taking the morning shift, then Mr. Obama relieving him in the afternoon. That leaves Mrs. Clinton fresh for the midnight shift and all those phone calls at 3:00 a.m. Now this arrangement may seem to give Hillary the lighter load. But with these three couples sharing the White House, she’ll have her hands full seeing that Bill doesn’t get too frisky with the other First Ladies.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Another rule [of the Democratic Convention] reads: no money shall change hands among buyers or sellers while on the floor of the convention. This is purely a Democratic rule; the Republicans have no such restrictions. That is why they are the most prosperous party.

…I want to see this thing over and get back to the serious business of trying to entertain people. If they are smart they will nominate some man we don’t know. I didn’t think at first that the Democrats were serious about really nominating someone this year, but they tell me they have to put up somebody or they will lose their franchise.” Convention Article 9, July 1, 1924

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