The Weather, Politics And A Container Of Milk
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
You can't take yourself too seriously, whether you're a presidential
candidate, a governor - Eliot has proven that - or a newspaper publisher
or columnist. And as you sit here every week pounding the keys to
the computer, you recognize that some of your thoughts, ideas or
concepts are not earth-shattering or perhaps not even newsworthy.
Some of them, you hope are fun or interesting, or heart warming.
Sometimes, you just want people to think . . . or smile.
Here's a collection of this morning's thoughts compiled as Lil and
I chatted over breakfast as CNN did some Nevada Primary reporting
and South Carolina analysis:
Mitt Romney is real. His name is not Mitt - you can't have a President
named Mitt - it's his middle name. His name is Willard. Nuff said.
Sorry, in today's society, Willard is more of a negative than being
Rudy Giuliani is not real. The rest of the nation is discovering
that deep down, America's Mayor is a mean spirited, angry man who
was in the wrong place at the right time and his New York prosecutorial
tough guy image won't sell in the red, white or blue states - forget
about the black ones.
People should stop worrying about the weather. You can't listen
to the weather folks too far in advance because they just are not
right. You can open the window or door to see if it's cold. You
can look out to see if it's raining. Leave an umbrella in the car
and if you're cold dress warm. If there is a real storm brewing,
it leads the news. You don't have to wait for the five minute weather
segment. As a matter of fact, if you do other stuff during the weather
broadcast of your nightly news show, forget the weather channel;
skip all the weather stuff but the hard news, the average American
will get back about 2 days a year.
I'm going to try it and sleep the two days of this year which I
gain from weather broadcasts.
Polls are apparently no better than weather-forecasting. New Hampshire
established the fact that the perceptivity and analysis of pollsters
is great when they're right and terrible when they're wrong. And
you have to wait for the real results to know which is which. So
treat poll results as you would weather forecasts and sleep an extra
two days every presidential election year. Late night talk show
hosts are the only ones to really benefit from the fodder that poll
I have not fact checked this, but I hear that American Idol gets
more votes than the national Presidential Election. I mean I recognize
the power of pop culture and the pitfalls of American politics,
but c'mon, that is just real bad for the future of our nation. Ryan
Seacrest and Simon Cowell and company should not allow you to vote
for the next American Idol if you don't participate in the Presidential
election. As a matter of fact, why not make voting for the next
American Idol on Election Day at your polling place, inside your
voting booth. We could solve the turnout problem, get the young
involved and allow seniors to help decide if Clay Aiken or Kelly
Clarkson should be going to Hollywood.
The Obama phenomenon has legs. He is a movement - that is the leading
factor in his electability. But can a movement win the election?
His charisma, oration and people skills follow as the key factors
on the plus side of his electiblity index. Being the nation's first
electable non-white candidate may be a slight positive - a tribute
to the long way we've come. But it is not the overriding issue of
Hillary - I've always admired it when people were so well known
that they were able to use their first name and be identified anywhere
in the world. They also have to have a pretty weird name. Mitt,
Rudy, Madonna, Shakira.
Hillary is a force. She remains the front runner, narrowly - very
narrowly. In spite of media over-analysis, Bill is her second most
important electibility asset. Being a woman - yes, we've come a
long way, baby - is her first. Her next are her intelligence and
depth of experience in reverse order.
Our local supermarket now offers goat milk lined up in the cooler
along side the incredible variety of the other containers. As the
youngest member of the family, I clearly remember having to go to
the basement to buy the family's milk from a machine. The variety:
milk or milk. There was the white stuff 27 cents a container. A
quarter would get it for you and then there was the "honor" slot
to put the two pennies in. Dad used to preach to me about honesty
when he gave me the 27 cents and dispatched me to the laundry room
at 66-10 149th street. Mom, she would give me a quarter and tell
me not to worry about the 2 cents. There's some stuff you don't
forget. Mom will probably argue with me about this on the phone
Lil insists they can't do away with pennies because they'd have
to rewrite the old songs. Okay Lil, hum a few bars. . .
Speaking of milk, they have added several varieties of milks which
deal with lactose intolerance. So how come they haven't developed
a milk to deal with other forms of intolerance?
See you next week unless I'm still asleep.
Maltese Loses Key Ally In Seminerio
Stadium Memorabilia Selling Fast
Fugitive Convicted In 2001 Murder
Rally Howls For Affordable Housing
Sikhs and Arab Still Suffer Since 9/11
Queens’ Latin Jazz Coalition Finds Rhythm
Going From Here to There — Got Ideas?
Protest To Keep School Bus Routes
Rival Term Limits Bills Approach Council Floor
Stolen Torahs Returned
Seminerio Arrested For Mail Fraud
Teen Pleads Guilty To 2006 Park Murder
Mayor Endorses Maltese In Senate Battle
Huge Turnout Gives Huntley Win In Jamaica
Memories of Shea
On 9/11, Some Wounds Still Unhealed
Women’s Hospital Breaks Ground
Citi Field To Be Year-Round Attraction
Stolen Torahs Recovered By Police
Meng Beats Young in Primary for Flushing Seat
Term-Limits Reversal Is Lukewarm
Looking At Mayor
Bloomberg’s Presidential Run
We've seen a torrent of news stories and columns to the effect that the public was tired of Mayor Bloomberg's flirtation with a presidential candidacy and that he should make up his mind now as to whether he will run.
This came after months of reporters asking him, wherever he went, whether he would run for President, followed by his consistent denial of any such aspiration. At the same time his capable Deputy Mayor, Kevin Sheekey, was telling people that the mayor was preparing for a race.
The true answer to that question lies is somewhere between the mayor's and deputy mayor's statements. Bloomberg may run, but has not yet made that decision. The principal reason he has not yet made up his mind should be obvious to everyone. One does not launch a third-party candidacy (and spend a billion dollars) until one knows who the major parties' nominees will be. That will not be known before Super Tuesday (February 5), and possibly not even then, if the states split closely between Clinton and Obama. The Republicans have just as many primaries as the Democrats on that day, and there are five candidates left there, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani and Thompson.
A third party candidate faces obstacles getting on the ballot in all 50 states. Some states have higher barriers than others. Some day it will become an issue whether, in Federal elections such as President, Vice President, Senators and Members of Congress, the states can construct unreasonably strict barriers to candidates who are not from the major parties. New York's rules are of intermediate difficulty; an independent candidate must secure 15,000 valid signatures, with at least 100 from each of a majority of the Congressional districts in the state. So if one has 100,000 supporters in 10 counties, one does not make the ballot. Many other states have even more rigorous requirements for ballot access.
It is the press that has helped to build the Bloomberg boomlet: He travels around the country, speaking on issues, to try to make himself a national figure so that he will have some recognition before he decides whether to run. Then comes the major media buy, if he goes.
No one should underestimate Mayor Bloomberg's ability to attract and retain public attention or to bring his message to any voter with eyes and ears. The chance of his becoming President of the United States is remote. But it is not as remote as his chance, as a private citizen never having held public office, of being elected to succeed Mayor Giuliani. If one had asked then who the mayor elected in 2001 would be, the chances are one would have predicted a Democratic officeholder. In fact, that prediction would be the majority view until late in October 2001.
The prospect of the mayor's candidacy depends on the other nominees. The least likely scenario for him to run, in our judgment, would be a Clinton-McCain contest. The most likely could be a match between Edwards and Huckabee, or Obama and Romney. We are simply parsing the possibilities.
The truth is: who knows?
How can the mayor decide whether to run before the two parties' primaries determine who his opponents will be. He is not running because he has an irresistible desire to be President; he would run if he believes the other candidates are unsuitable for one reason or another. It was characteristic of the mainstream media, who speculated endlessly as to the possibility of his candidacy, to determine that the time had arrived to pull the plug, and to solicit public sentiment to that effect. There is no evidence that the city is any better or any worse governed because of his periodic absence.
This column has tried to examine one example of the effect of the media on elections, particularly primaries. They create momentum for a candidate and then they take it away. We are not suggesting that they make up the news, but they do exaggerate small matters, and follow each other like a wolfpack seeking its prey. That is why it is so satisfying when the voters of a state like New Hampshire trip up both the pollsters and the journalists.
I have no idea who will win which primary. I do not believe, at this point, that the mayor will run for President, but that may change depending on future events. I do believe that the media that fanned the flames of his candidacy should leave him alone until he makes a decision. If they think the Bloomberg story is a tease, they should ignore him. The media should not, however, beat him up for not committing himself to a race before he knows who his adversaries will be.
Not4Publication.com by Dom Nunziato