I know what the problem is. When baby boomers were growing up in the '50s and '60s, the standard catchphrase to motivate people was "In America, ANYONE can be President." The '80s joke was that, in fact, "anyone" was President. This was seen as a way of motivating middle-class tots, albeit white, male middle-class tots, but it was a motivator all the same. After all, we white females could aspire to marry "anyone" who was a potential Presidential candidate, and people of color could dream of someday dream of taking out the trash for "anyone" and being close to the seat of power.
So I give you this blurb from this morning's New York Times:
Pataki Will Test '08 Winds in IowaBy ADAM NAGOURNEYGov. George E. Pataki is headed to Iowa this weekend toexplore whether he should run for president in 2008. QUOTATION OF THE DAY -"We might do a country fair - I just love those. If we're going to be out there and there's one nearby, I want to do one."- GOV. GEORGE E. PATAKI, on a visit to Iowa.
So now that the rules have changed, and women can at least RUN for President (although we all know they can't raise money....) and I'm about as solidly baby boomer middle-class as you can get (pulled myself up by my bootstraps from the wrong side of the tracks in Shaker Heights, went to a Seven Sisters college on a scholarship, raised two perfect children in small town America, etc. etc. etc.) I think I might change my plans for a vacation on the Cape and "test the winds in Iowa."
After all, my friends Terry and Henry live there. I bet that they'd vote for me. And they probably have some friends. And some of their friends are from church, so when those friends hear that I am ALSO an Episcopalian (I know, not so popular as a Presidential religion these days...last Episcopalian was GHWB and look where that got us....) they will flock to my candidacy. Especially when they find out I ACTUALLY GO TO CHURCH AND NOT BECAUSE I'M TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE!
OK, so I've got the Protestant Grinnell intellectuals in my corner. What next? OLD PEOPLE! I know more about Medicare than almost anyone in the U.S., certainly more than George Pataki. Once they hear my jokes -- "what's the best thing about being 104? No peer pressure!" -- I'll have them rolling in the aisles. And did you know that Iowa has one of the, if not THE, oldest populations in the U.S.? AHA!!! This is getting good.
Now, women. In the last election, the Governor's WIFE ended up being key to John Kerry's campaign. Women are the secret weapon obviously. And look at the effect that Debra Winger had! (Or was that Nebraska? I can never keep those Plains States straight. Not to worry. Will have staff to brief me on where I am...)
County Fairs? My brother lives in Geauga County OH. BIG SWING STATE! I went to school there! I've done the Geauga County Fair and the Redwood County Fair in CA and the Helena Stampede (which has actually been VERY favorably compared to the Calgary Stampede -- this is a direct quote from the lady in the tourist info booth in Helena in 1974 -- also the first place I saw an "Impeach Nixon" bumper sticker in the Heartland)in MT. The Governor of MT is considering a run....maybe he'd like to put me on as VP to balance the ticket? I'm not going to dismiss that out of hand. Perish the thought of the sin of hubris...
Gotta go. I have a fundraiser in NH this weekend. Six of my college friends are donating $10 each to pay for my gas to drive to Keene.