Tag Archives: 2012

Teddy Roosevelt’s Legacy

Gene Healy on presidential candidates’ bipartisan love for Teddy Roosevelt:

Modeling your re-election strategy on an obnoxious authoritarian’s failed third-party run for the presidency a hundred years ago is an interesting choice, but not necessarily a wise one. It’s a move of desperation, unlikely to work.

GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich calls himself “a Theodore Roosevelt Republican.” Despite (or because of?) T.R.’s many flaws, politicians from both parties have long found something irresistible about our pulpit-pounding 26th president.

But T.R.’s enduring appeal is an enduring mystery. What’s so attractive about Roosevelt’s political philosophy? A loudmouthed cult of manliness? A warped belief that war is a good tonic for whatever ails the national spirit? A contemptuous attitude toward limits on presidential power?

John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, also suffers from a Teddy Roosevelt complex, as Matt Welch details in his book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. If there’s any lesson to be learned from presidential candidates’ shared T.R. fetish, it’s that only those truly in love with power can endure the the hell of the campaign trail to acquire it.


You’re Kidding, Right?

Sarah Palin, on her Fox News debut, said she thought that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks until 2008 campaign handlers informed her otherwise.

That would be seven years after the attacks.

Not as off base as the truthers. Still jaw-dropping to read.

One wonders why Democrats put so much time and effort into attacking her. If I were a Democratic party strategist, I would be lending active support to her 2012 candidacy.

It doesn’t matter how much Ms. Palin learns about the issues between now and then. And I place no doubts on her IQ. You don’t get to be governor unless you have something going on upstairs. Sarah Palin has to be the easiest general election kill since at least John Kerry.