As a rule, the guy running for president chooses a running mate he thinks will help him win a specific swing state, which explains Kennedy picking Johnson. Sometimes he picks someone whom, he hopes, will energize the electorate, which explains McCain picking Palin. But, nearly always, he selects a person nobody really wants to see wind up as president. After all, when some guy is just a heartbeat from the Oval Office, you don’t want to have millions of people hoping you have a heart attack. And that explains why such nonentities as Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, Al Gore and Joe Biden, have all held the office.
It also helps if your laddy-in-waiting is the sort of goof who refers to putting out the hit order on Osama bin Laden as the height of courage and audacity. If butt-kissing were an Olympic event, that’s the sort of thing that could earn Joe Biden a gold medal in London this summer.
Unfortunately, Biden doesn’t come cheap. According to Newsmax columnist Ron Kessler, Joe Biden costs the American taxpayer over a million dollars a year just in weekend travel expenses. It seems that the man Obama appointed to root out wasteful government spending takes a helicopter, designated as Marine Two, every weekend to Maryland, where he then gets on Air Force Two to fly him home to Delaware. When the weather is warm and Obama isn’t out of town raising campaign funds, Biden will return to Washington on Saturday so that he can play a round of golf with his boss before heading back to Delaware. The cost of the one-hour round trip on Air Force Two is $22,000. The cost of two such trips in a weekend is therefore $44,000, not counting the helicopter rides and the lost golf balls.
All of this is in addition to his $230,700 salary and the rent-free vice-presidential mansion, where five Navy stewards cook, clean, shop for food and do the laundry, at no cost to the Bidens. Lest you think that’s the end of it, the taxpayers are also stuck with the cost of renting 20 condominiums in the Wilmington area for the Secret Service agents who have to accompany him on his weekend jaunts to Delaware.
In case you were wondering, this is what the Vice-President has in mind when he refers to himself as just a regular Joe. By such standards, Napoleon’s Josephine would have been well within her rights to describe herself as just a regular Jo.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the adventures of Elizabeth Warren, the would-be senator from Massachusetts, it now appears that in addition to not being a true Cherokee, she is not even a true socialist. In spite of trying to pass herself off as an enemy of capitalism in general and predatory banks in particular, she and her relatives have a long record of buying up foreclosed homes in Oklahoma and flipping them for huge profits. In one case, which has taken its place in Cherokee lore, she bought a house for $30,000 and sold it five months later for $145,000!
She even tried her hand at usury, lending dough to one of her brothers at 9.5% interest. That explains why one of her many Indian names is Sister Shylock, and why the Mafia is considering underwriting the Elizabeth Warren course to be known as Moneylending 101 at Harvard.
For the past three years, we have heard Barack Obama insist that the only reason he doesn’t attend church services is because he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the other churchgoers. What makes that so puzzling is that he never seems to give a second thought to the disruption his motorcades create every time he flies into a city for one of his 200-plus fundraisers. And it didn’t seem to bother him in the least when, in order that he have a photo op, the Secret Service closed down the Vietnam Memorial to veterans, their families and the survivors of fallen warriors, for seven long hours this past Memorial Day
If I didn’t despise Obama, I might even feel sorry for the guy. An incumbent, after all, has only two choices, and that’s to run on his record or from his record. And as fight fans used to say about the various palookas who faced Joe Louis in his prime, they can run, but they can’t hide.
There’s also a saying that criminals always return to the scene of the crime. I have no way of knowing whether or not that’s true.
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if Obama goes back to Chicago next January.