I first heard the term “turkey dance” from my onetime friend Ross Perot. He didn’t supply a definition of the term, he probably just assumed that I could figure it out from the context. He was talking about certain business negotiations in which he was involved, and he said something to the effect: “Why should I have to go through a turkey dance?” I took it as a reference to some sort of mating ritual among turkeys which, transmuted to human terms, might signify unnecessarily formal and ceremonious interactions. Perot is a guy who likes to cut to the chase.
I have since learned that the Caddo Indians of Oklahoma, a state adjacent to Perot’s native Texas, like to perform what they call a turkey dance lasting several hours, to show their reverence for turkeys. This seems more respectful than what you and I do at Thanksgiving.
In any case, it looks to me as though Vice President Joe Biden is engaged in a particularly long turkey dance. Will he or will he not enter the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination?
That he is even considering this at age seventy-two has been attributed by people in his inner circle to the fact that his son Beau, who died nearly three months ago, asked him, while on his death bed, to make the run.
It may indeed be true that Beau, who was a politician himself, made such a request, but I rather doubt that this is the uppermost reason for Joe’s deliberations. The nomination, we have been hearing for years, was supposed to go to Hillary Clinton, and Biden, advanced in years, must have been resigned to this scenario. Hillary looked good in the early polling, and had an excellent chance of extending the Democratic grip on the White House.
That is, until she didn’t. It now appears that she is as likely to go to women’s federal prison as she is to move back into the White House. In prison, they don’t let you steal the furniture and crockery, so the White House, we can all agree, would be much preferable.
The thing is, Biden can’t come out and say that he is considering a run for the nomination because Hillary no longer is the choice of any honorable Democrat, and that were she to be nominated she might sink the party. So he made practical use of Beau Biden’s dying wish to provide an excuse that makes him seem less of a vulture.
My friend John Daly no doubt will tell me that all this is speculation, and I suppose it is. Try as I might, I have been unable to get Joe Biden to compose and sign an affidavit attesting to the validity of my theory.
And yet, will someone please tell me why it has taken three months for Joe to decide whether to honor Beau’s request? If, God forbid, you were to receive a deathbed request from a dying child, would it take you that long to mull it over? If the request were the least bit plausible and palatable, wouldn’t you honor it at once? Why is Biden stalling?
I say he is stalling because he needs more time to gauge just how far into the tank Hillary will descend. Right now you could make the case that she could beat the GOP candidates who have the best chance of being nominated. That may not be true, but you could still make the case. But the time may come when she has plainly become a dead mackerel. Even the American Left might not vote for a mackerel, or at any rate a dead one.
Then Joe can step forward, claiming that he has decided to run for sentimental reasons, that he has the highest respect for Hillary Clinton, but that his son’s final plea trumps (hmm, should I use that word?) his immense regard for the Old, White Woman.
Whereupon Bernie Sanders takes the nomination away from him. (I can dream, can’t I?)