"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
— Gore Vidal
To all of those people who have put themselves forward as candidates for public office in Nevada, I offer those words from Gore Vidal and suggest you all read Peggy Noonan’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Being nuts is not a prerequisite for seeking public office, it just seems to work out that way. Or as Noonan observes,"almost all of the 2008 (presidential) candidates appear to be truly barking mad."
— "John McCain, too, is extreme. At one point he screams 12 f-words in a 13-word sentence."
— "During debate prep, Mrs. Palin shuts down, ‘chin on her chest, arms folded, eyes cast to the floor . . . lost in what those around her described as a kind of catatonic stupor.’ Mr. McCain’s four top aides hold a conference call to discuss whether she is ‘mentally unstable.’"
— Quoting from the book "Game Change" about Barack Obama, "He is smart, ‘and he not only knew it but wanted to make sure that everyone else knew it.’ In meetings with aides, he controlled the conversation by interrupting whoever was talking. He is boastful, gaudily confident."
— Then there is "the sheer, extraterrestrial weirdness of John Edwards’s mental processes."
I think it was Earl Long who, while running for governor in Louisiana, once boasted he was the only candidate who could prove he was not insane. After all, he had the paperwork from his release from the mental ward. What did the other candidates have to show?
So when we invite candidates in for editorial boards in the coming months, I think I’ll ask each one: "Are you nuts? And what do you have to prove you’re not?"