Election 2008: By the Numbers

Prompted by my son, I have put up a John McCain yard sign on my Facebook page. I think I would have preferred one that said We’re Screwed ’08, because neither presumptive candidate really has me fired up. For the record, I haven’t been really excited about a Presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, but we can’t always get what we want, right?

However, I’ve thought it through and have decided that if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. Now maybe we don’t need John McCain or Barack Obama right now, but I think McCain has more of what we need than the question mark from Illinois.

How did I determine this? By the numbers, of course.

  • 0 – The number of days it took me to figure out that Obama was destined to run for President. Watching the election returns in 2004, I listened to how the media was gushing over a man who had done nothing but turn up and win an election against a Republican carpetbagger – and I turned to my wife and said, “Listen to this. The media is going to have him running for President before long.”
  • 1.6% – The percentage of bills in Senate on which The Junior Senator from Illinois was sponsor that actually passed. Two out of 123, to be exact. One was a relief bill for the Congo Republic, the other designated a “National Summer Learning Day.” Heavy.
  • 2 – The number of years that The Junior Senator from Illinois was The Junior Senator from Illinois before he announced that he was running for President. Must have been his tremendous legislative record that inspired him. Or the Media. But they wouldn’t do that, right?
  • 4 – The number of years I was off in guessing when The Junior Senator from Illinois would run. My wife asked, “You think he’ll run in ’08?” I said, “No, ’08 will be Hillary’s year. Besides, he won’t have enough experience to run after just four years. I look to see him in 2012.” Stupid me.
  • 129 – The number of times in the Illinois Senate that the current Junior Senator from Illinois voted “present” as opposed to “yes” or “no” – seen now as a face saving measure so he could say he did not vote “for” or “against” lightning rod issues like abortion, penalties for concealed weapons, and building strip bars near schools. The Junior Senator’s people are saying that many of these “present” votes were precipitated by badly written laws, or legislation with poison pills in them, preventing him from wanting to vote “for” them – but that being the case, wouldn’t a “no” have sufficed?
  • 146 – The number of days that The Junior Senator from Illinois was The Junior Senator from Illinois before he set up a Presidential Exploratory Committee. Not even six months of Senate experience. Robert Heinlein said that the best choice for President is a someone who doesn’t want the job. Like Bill Clinton before him, The Junior Senator wants the job far too badly to deserve election. It’s a privilege, not a destiny. And a role of service, not an anointing.
  • 80, 75, 72, 72, 70 – The ages of the five oldest Supreme Court justices and the factor that really brought me around to McCain. It’s not just that I shudder at the possibility of Supreme Court Justice Clinton (either one) as a political payback for this year’s nomination blowout. It’s the tendency of Democratic appointees to write laws from the bench as opposed to interpreting the constitution (which is why I favor periodic elections to retain SCOTUS appointees, much like we do with local judges). McCain may have some cranky ideas on who should inherit the next open black robe, but I’d rater take my chances with his choices than more bench legislators.

That’s my analysis. So this year I’m getting out the nose plugs and voting for McCain.

What would excite me about voting for him? Condi Rice as his running mate. Her presence on the ticket would defang both the “woman” thing (if Hillary continues to be a player), and the “black” thing. And there’s one really, really important thing about Rice that I like.

She doesn’t want the job.

Update 7/17/08: Added 1.6 and 2 to the list.

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