Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, May 19, 2019
ISSUE #973
Sacrificing for the Democrats: Will Rogers for VP

Have you noticed how our political parties learn from each other? The Republicans had 17 candidates for President four years ago, so the Democrats said, We can top that!

And they have. They’ve got 24 or 25 candidates, and by the time you read this it may be up around 30.

They all want to be President. No one is running for Vice President. Not even the man with 8 years’ experience as VP. A few are vehemently opposed to even being mentioned for the No. 2 slot. For them it’s No. 1, or nothing.

The women candidates hate the idea of playing second fiddle. They saw how the Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, got treated. Why, she was accused of being closer to Russia in 2008 than Trump in 2016.

So, at great personal sacrifice, I (Will Rogers) pledge my support as the running mate for the “winner” out of the 25 or 30 (or 40) candidates. Unlike Joe Biden, I have no actual experience as VP. But in 1924, almost a hundred years ago, I offered to be the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, with the nominee. I don’t recall exactly how many Democrats were in the race, but it was slightly less than this year.

With that large number running in 1924, guess how many ballots it took to pick the nominee? You’ll never get close. The convention stretched to 16 days because it took 102 ballots.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (for VP)

“In the entire three years of preparation by the Democratic Party to groom some man for this present crisis there has never been a mention of a man to run for Vice President. It’s  bad  enough  to  be  nominated  on  that  ticket  for  President,  much  less  Vice President.

Somebody has got to be sacrificed for the sake of party harmony. I hereby and hereon put myself in nomination. So I, Will Rogers, of Claremore, Oklahoma; Hollywood, California, and 42nd St. and Broadway, New York, do hereby step right out and declare myself, not only as a receptive but an anxious candidate for (Vice President).

On first hearing this it may sound like a joke, but when I relate to you some of the qualifications which I possess, why, I think any fair-minded man will give me serious consideration.

In the first place, they have got to nominate a farmer [Midwesterner] who understands the farmers’ condition.   Well, I got two farms in Oklahoma, both mortgaged, so no man knows their condition better than I do. I am just progressive enough to suit the dissatisfied. And lazy enough to be a Stand Patter. I never worked for a big corporation.

When the President can’t go anywhere, why, the Vice President has to go and speak or eat for him. Now, I could take in all the dinners, for I am a fair eater. I could say, ‘I am sorry the President can’t come, but he had pressing business.’ Of course, I wouldn’t tell the reason why he didn’t come, so I am just good enough a liar to be a good Vice President.

Of course I have no dress suit (tuxedo).  The Government would have to furnish me a dress suit.  If I went to a dinner in a rented one, they would mistake me for a Congressman.

I know I can hear a lot of you all say, ‘Yes, Will, you would make a good Vice President, but suppose something happened to the President?’ Well, I would do just like Mr. Coolidge. I would go in there and keep still and say nothing.  He is the first President to discover that what the American people want is to be let alone.

P.S.  I was born in a Log Cabin.” New York Times, June 26, 1924

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