Wednesday, May 19, 2010

goodbye Arlen, hello Ike

You like Ike. I like Ike. Everybody likes Ike. Ike for President, Ike for President. We'll take Ike to Washington. Hang out the banners, beat the drum, we'll take Ike to Washington. You like Ike. I like Ike. Now is the time for all good Americans to come to the aid of their country. Ike for President, Ike for President, Ike for President, Ike for President....

It's a gem. A thirty-second television ad from the 1952 campaign. Yesterday, arriving home after voting against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary election, I thought it might be apt to honor mindlessly for a few minutes the candidate who didn't know what party he belonged to until not long before he declared his candidacy for the presidency, whose centrism was real, whose legislative record had been nil, and whose campaign (quite aside from his Vice Prez choice) was innocent to the point of silliness. Then I washed my hands, cleaned out the hallway closet, and breathed the cool late-spring air. Ready to have my political lungs filled up again with the usual soot.