Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008

If I tried with all my might, I could not do better than today’s entry in The Writer’s Almanac. Here it is:

Today is Election Day. It’s the 56th presidential election of the United States, and today is the first time in more than 50 years that neither the sitting president nor the sitting vice president is a candidate on his party’s ticket in the new presidential election. It’s also the very first time in history that the two main candidates for president are both sitting senators. The last sitting senator to be elected U.S. president was JFK in 1960. [I almost inserted a comment here that this paragraph contained and error because in 1960 John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon were both sitting senators, but then my head cleared and I remembered that although Nixon had indeed been a senator from California, in 1960 he had been Eisenhower’s Vice-President for eight years. Carry on. I’ll be in the area all day. --RWP]

Many parties besides the Democrats and Republicans have nominated candidates for today’s election; these parties include Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Prohibition, Reform, Workers World Party, Boston Tea Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Socialist Workers Party -- whose presidential candidate, if he were to win the election, would not be able to serve as president, because he was born in Nicaragua.

Both Barack Obama and John McCain are best-selling authors. John McCain was on book tour for his memoir Faith of My Fathers (1999) at the same time that he was on the campaign trail in the 2000 election.

McCain wrote in his second memoir, Worth the Fighting For (2002):

“I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to become president.”

Barack Obama wrote his first memoir, Dreams of My Father, in 1995, after he became president of the Harvard Law Review but before he began his political career. His second book was The Audacity of Hope (2006). One journalist called it his “thesis submission” for the presidency, and it was the book, along with his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, that brought him to national attention.

He wrote:

“I reject a politics that is based solely on racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or victimhood generally. I think much of what ails the inner city involves a breakdown in culture that will not be cured by money alone, and that our values and spiritual life matter at least as much as our GDP.”

In Faith of My Fathers, John McCain wrote humorously about his poor performance at the Naval Academy, where he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class. He also wrote about his time in Vietnam, as a prisoner of war. He wrote:

“There are greater pursuits than self-seeking. Glory is not a conceit. It is not a prize for being the most clever, the strongest, or the boldest. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself.”


  1. Always find find something interesting when I visit your blog.

  2. So which guy did you go for? Personally, I am hoping you plumped for Obama. It's not just America that needs him - it's the whole world.

  3. I'm interested too! I think America chose wisely. John McCain seems to be a good man, but Sarah Palin scares me and the thought of her taking over in the event of J McC being unable to complete his term ... well, I'm glad it won't happen.

    History was made, for sure!

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  5. dr.john, thanks for your visit!

    Yorkshire Pudding and Jay, thanks for crossing the pond to express your opinions on our recent election! I decided long ago that it’s better to be a wise old owl than a dove or a hawk (to use a couple of terms left over from the Cold War); therefore, I do not discuss politics, sex, or religion (well, okay, sometimes religion) on my blog.


  7. Putz, your shift lock seems to have gotten stuck and it makes you appear to be shouting....

  8. i don't have the knowledge to put pictures on blogs. my son daniel who is scrizophrenic occasssionally puts on pictures because he knows my password....you have a nice picture of the flag and now i have a nice picture of the boy i am talking about...i explained what people might think and he changed the pictures..i just hope who ever commented realizes i made a mistake, but seeing the new picture will help

  9. Putz, the new picture is much better!