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Last week, the Washington Post’s “In the Loop” column asked readers to predict who John McCain and Barack Obama would pick as their vice presidential nominees. The Obama contest is still open (and of course, Hillary Clinton still has an outside chance at winning the nomination), but the Post today published the list of picks for McCain’s veep.
Top choices include Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Condoleezza Rice. Also tapped were Democrat Joseph Lieberman and, for obvious reasons, two top Republicans from Florida, Governor Charlie Crist and Senator Mel Martinez.
Here’s a name that didn’t come up in the Post’s poll, but which I heard a smart Democrat mention last night, and which was seconded as a strong choice by a Republican I spoke with this morning: Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania Governor and President George W. Bush’s first Office of Homeland Security Advisor. Ridge is close to McCain and was announced as one of his presidential campaign’s national co-chairman back in February of 2007.
Ridge is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, and hence plays to McCain’s preferred image as a national security hawk and solid commander-in-chief (the G.O.P. will seek to portray the Democratic nominee, particularly if it’s Obama, as inexperienced and untested during turbulent times. Finally, Florida is obviously a critical state, but so is Pennsylvania–which John Kerry won by a narrow margin in 2004.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”