Mayfield: My compliments to the candidates
Vail CO, Colorado
My 88-year-old mother attributes her continuing soundness of mind and body to adhering to two additional commandments along with the original 10.
Her 11th Commandment is the divine admonition to “Keep moving!” which Mom obeys with her daily walks through her neighborhood and sessions at the gym. Commandment No. XII is a little more difficult: “If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
Such commanding may be easy to follow if you’re a physically fit great-grandma but far more problematic if you’re a newspaper column-writing son.
Nevertheless and in the spirit of resolutions for the New Year, I resolved to follow Ma’s inspiring lead … at least for this week. Still sweating from my morning’s pedestrian perambulation, I began my list of nice things to say …
George W. Bush ” From all indications, the president and his wife have done a stellar job at parenting. Protecting their twin daughters from public scrutiny, while allowing them the freedom to find their own way in the world, was an achievement worth a laudatory line or two. Yes, there were a few bumps along the way but both young women seem to have established themselves quite well. Kudos to “The Decider” who managed to make at least one right decision in the past seven years.
Dick Cheney ” This one is even tougher. But as long as we are on the topic of parenting skills, here we have Mr. and Mrs. Veep making room in their hearts and home for their lesbian daughter and her significant other. For someone who has enthusiastically made himself into a model of malevolence, this must have been a monumental personal achievement and it should not go unrecognized. Although I suspect it has many of his fervent followers scratching their heads in disbelief, Dick and Lynne allowed parental love to trump political prejudices. Good job, Darth!
John McCain ” A proven war hero who sacrificed five-and-a-half years of his life to a Hanoi prison, the senator makes saying something nice about him very easy, as the folks in New Hampshire indicated last Tuesday. Although most of us would disagree with his assessment of the war in Iraq, many of us will agree that this is a man of integrity and authenticity and all of us should agree that those are rare commodities in Washington these days.
Hillary Clinton ” Even though you didn’t have to drive too far, thanks for driving the ditto-heads crazy.
Barack Obama ” In a nation that ranks dead last in the most recent health-care study with the highest rate of preventable deaths among 19 industrialized nations and the only one without universal health-care coverage, it is good to know of a presidential wannabe who actually advocates for radical change as in suggesting that all Americans are worthy of the same structure of socialized medicine that members of our reform-denying Congress currently enjoy.
Mike Huckabee ” Anyone with such a great American name, who can hold his own in a rock and roll band, who lost over 110 pounds while governor and still competes in 26-mile marathons is my kind of candidate. He’ll have to dump his politics and religion, of course.
Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and John Bolton ” I certainly hope all four of these ex-employees are enjoying their retirements. I know I am.
Mitt Romney ” Best of luck in Michigan, Mr. Mitt! Most Democrats are passionately hoping the Republicans pick you as their candidate.
John Edwards ” What can I say? The man’s got great hair. He also has a groovy wife, some intriguing ideas, lots of money and, sadly, what appears to be an insurmountable distance behind the front-runners. Of course, as the pollsters and pundits have already made clear after being humiliated by their grossly inaccurate predictions in New Hampshire, a lot can happen between now and November. Pardon me Barack, but “Here’s hoping!”
Rudy Guiliani ” See Commandment XII.
Rich Mayfield is the author of “Reconstructing Christianity: Notes from the New Reformation.” E-mail comments about this column to email@example.com.