Republicans seeking election to the Presidency in 2016 may soon outnumber the condiment varieties offered by Heinz. And although several are clearly unelectable (Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum), two in particular strike me as completely bat-shit delusional: Carly Fiorina and George “Wacky” Pataki.
Pataki played the role of New York State’s governor for three terms after unseating the once-formidable and insufferable Mario Cuomo, so on first inspection his candidacy might not seem far-fetched. But those who watched him in inaction know he is barely qualified to return to his past role as mayor of the metropolis of Peekskill (population 24,000 – less than Greenwich Village). The man has no vision and is a somnolent and uninspiring speaker; he makes Mr. Rogers seem like T. D Jakes. And he practically phoned in his third term.
In 1994 I went to a county fair in Upstate New York on a steaming hot August afternoon. Dust and bits of hay swirled about, and the smell of pig shit and funnel cakes wafted in the air. In this stifling venue, I saw two men in dark suits walking together under the blazing sun: Senator Al D’Amato and his protégé George Pataki stumping for votes. I thought to myself – there’s a man who doesn’t have the god-given sense to dress appropriately for a county fair in August.
Although Pataki’s minimalistic website touts his record over the 12 years from 1995 to 2007, most of the stats he takes credit for were the result of macro-effects taking place all across the country. For example, job growth in New York rose steadily in the Clinton-era 1990s, dipped in 2001 followed by a sharp drop after 9/11, and then in the next five years haltingly rose back to where it was on that fateful September morning. The headline on the graph: “Governor George Pataki rebuilt the New York State Economy, not once, but twice.” Fucking laughable.
(Sidebar: None of the statistics cite a reference, and some graphs don’t even label the axes making it hard to determine what is being presented as evidence of the Wacky Pataki Miracle. For instance, Pataki claims crime was reduced from 900,000 to 500,000 on his watch – but for all we know it’s a measure of plummeting jaywalking offenses.)
Here is a recent quote from Pataki that captures the man’s lack of qualification: “I was governor on September 11th, and I saw the consequences of government thinking that because this radical Islam was thousands of thousands of miles overseas, it didn’t pose a threat to us. It obviously did. We cannot sit back and simply say they are over there. They want to attack us here and I believe we have to go in, destroy as many of them as we can, as quickly as we can, destroy their recruiting centers and training facilities and then get out.”
Go in quickly and then get out? Has he been hanging out with Rip Van Winkle in Sleepy Hollow this millennium? Deluded.
But not nearly as deluded as former HP CEO Carly Fiorina who has absolutely no business getting anywhere near politics after failing miserably in her quest to unseat Senator Barbara Boxer despite personally dumping $7M+ of her own cash into the campaign. As a warm-up to playing politician, she became an adviser on business affairs to John McCain in 2008. Unfortunately her record as head at HP was so disastrous that her credibility was threadbare. She pressed hard over the objections of Walter Hewlett (son of HP co-founder William) to acquire PC maker Compaq just in time to witness the beginning of the decline of the PC market. She also pressed hard to acquire consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for $14 billion, but was forced to back off in the face of strident shareholder opposition. IBM went on to pick up PwC for $4 billion – a mere $10 billion less than the offer from Carly the Clairvoyant.
I’m always fascinated by the outsized egos of CEOs who believe by virtue of their tremendous business acumen they should not be expected to first make a stop to a lesser elected office on their way to the presidency (Steve Forbes, Ross Perot, Donald Trump, Herman Cain). Why piddle around with being a Senator or Congressman for a few years?
Fiorina is yet another arrogant CEO who thinks of the country as America, Inc. – an entity that can be better run with spreadsheets and time-motion studies. In a word: deluded.
Mike Huckabee Locks up the Lard-Ass Vote
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll reported that 57 percent of Republican primary voters said they could not see themselves supporting Chris Christie in 2016, the second highest negative among the dozen or so potential candidates. And if Christie does decide to bag it – especially as the George Washington Bridge scandal unfolds with indictments – the obvious winner is Mike Huckabee. With the portly Christie out of the way, blimpy Huckabee is in prime position to gobble up the male lard-ass vote (which must certainly account for 40 percent of the voting population).
And what a two-ton ticket it would be if Huckabee chose Christie as his vice-president. The optics on that would be memorable. How long before stories surface comparing Huckabee/Christie to President William H. Taft (354 lbs) who got stuck in a White House bathtub? How rich to ogle photos of the pair wedged in tight in the Rose Garden Jacuzzi?
By the way, starting in 2003 after getting grim diagnoses from his doctor about his obesity, Huckabee lost 100 pounds and wrote a book about his odyssey called “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork.” A dozen years later, the old Huck is back and bigger than ever. A poster child for seesaw dieting. His latest book? “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.”
Now that’s more like it.