Alex Massie

Reforming the Vice-Presidency

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Just how bad might a McCain presidency be anyway? Happily David Broder is on hand to tell us:

By picking Palin, McCain has strengthened his reputation not as an ideologue, not as a partisan, but as a reformer -- ready to shake up Washington as his hero, Teddy Roosevelt, once did. My guess is that cleansing Washington of its poisonous partisanship, its wasteful spending and its incompetence will become McCain's major theme.

Because lord knows that what we need is another crazed crusader* in the White House who can't see - or imagine - a windmill without wanting to have a bloody tilt at it. Anyone who thinks McCain - or anyone else - could actually achieve any of the goals Broder sets is, of course, deluded enough to warrant a Washington Post column themselves.

And if this is how Broder reacts to McCain picking the largely unknown governor of Alaska, imagine how excited he would have been if McCain had picked a random member of the public to be Vice-President? What could buttress his "reputation...as a reformer" better than that? Meet Mick, a plumber from Akron. He's your next President.

But from there 'tis but a small step to wondering how much better it would have been to have scorned the traditional but tired habit of picking a human being at all. Better by far, surely, and certainly more radical and genuinely "bipartisan" to have selected a beaver or, better and cuter, a koala bear to be McCain's deputy? That would "shake up" Washington wouldn't it? Still, too conventional you say? OK, what about a tub of lard for Vice-President? That would look right at home at the Naval Observatory wouldn't it? What could do more to resurrect the spirit and restore the dignity of the office than that? At long last our long, poisonously partisan national nightmare could be over...

UPDATE: Or a ham sandwich of course. The Philosraptor beat me to it. (Thanks MattF).

*Obama is not, mind you, likely to be much better.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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