Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Heir Apparent

I have a theory. You may not agree with it; in fact, you might question my state of mind after I tell it to you. My theory is very simple and, really, apropos of nothing. It's just that I have noticed a certain trend over the last sixty years concerning the Presidents of these United States of America. You ready? Here goes:

The candidate whose last name is two syllables and ends with the letter "n" is a shoo-in to get elected President.

Nutty? Let's look at the history of two-syllable "-n" presidents:

  • Jackson, Andrew -- Nothing really remarkable here, insofar as he was the only president in the first fourscore years of the Republic to whom my theory applies. Besides, in those pre-mass media days, people has longer attention spans and preferred men whose names had three syllables and ended in "n": Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Van Buren, Harrison Buchanan.
  • Lincoln, Abraham -- Bad mojo -- he was assassinated.
  • Johnson, Andrew -- A lot of people might have wanted him killed, but they impeached him instead. A couple of decades later, there would be another three syllable "-n" president, another Harrison, but that was the last gasp for that lot.
  • Wilson, Woodrow -- Had a stroke while in office. Also, never trust a candidate who runs on a platform of keeping the country out of war. It comes back to haunt you. But hey, at least we won the damn thing!
  • Truman, Harry -- The Great Depression and World War II changed everything. Up to this point, "-n" presidents were few and far between, and often hard luck cases. Truman took over when a popular chief executive died in office, literally dropped A bomb, and won the war before being elected in his own right, despite the headlines of the day. Finally, lasting success!
  • Johnson, Lyndon -- Civil rights, Great Society, Vietnam...whether you agreed with him or not, LBJ could get things done.
  • Nixon, Richard -- Nixon had his chance in 1960 but couldn't compete with Democrat machine politics. 1968 was another story. President Johnson dropped out of the race early, thereby avoiding a tense "-n" vs. "-n" showdown. Humphrey might have done better if his name had been Humphren.
  • Reagan, Ronald -- The shame of Watergate might have done away with "-n" presidents forever, if not for the ineptitude of Ford and Carter. We needed an "-n" in 1980, and we got it. Reagan was only the third of the first eight "-n"s to be elected twice and serve two full terms. Most of the others either died in office, took over for someone who died, or resigned in disgrace. Reagan brought dignity back to the "-n"s.
  • Clinton, Bill -- It was inevitable that Bush 41 would lose when faced with an opponent who adhered to the rule of "-n". Like Reagan, Clinton served a full eight years and became synonymous with a decade in American history.
So where are the "-n" presidents for the 21st century? Hillary Clinton would have been obvious had she secured the nomination. Obama certainly doesn't fit. I don't count McCain because there is really only one vowel sound in his surname. So let's look at the Vice-Presidential candidates.

Biden and Palin. It's a toss-up! Obama is a fairly young man and not likely to kick the bucket anytime soon. If the Democrat ticket gets elected, Joe Biden should get used to being VP for a long while. On the other hand, some people (I don't know who they are, but you can look them up on the Internet) think that a President McCain will die in office because he is OLD. If such a tragedy were to occur, we would have yet another "-n" theory president. Since the odds are more in favor of McCain dying in office than Obama, I predict that McCain-Palin are the likely winners of the election. Remember that it was quote common for a newly deceased president to be succeeded by a "-n" vice-president.

Jackson. Lincoln. Johnson. Wilson. Truman. Johnson. Nixon. Reagan. Clinton. And Palin.

Sarah Palin, future President of the United States of America.

Another thing about these "-n" names: Back in 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin became the most popular wrestler in the history of sports entertainment when he uttered the phrase: "Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass!" I pointed out to some of my then-co-workers that any name with two syllables ending in "n" could replace the name "Austin", but the phrase would have to be customized in order to fit the named individual. For instance, there was a guy named Owen who shelved things, so naturally "Owen 3:16 says I just shelved your ass!" Even better was a lady named Ellen, who was responsible for dictionaries and other reference books: "Ellen 3:16 says I just look up your ass!" And so on.

So you could come up with 3:16s for any of the above listed presidents. Be creative. I have one for Sarah Palin, who is now the world's most famous moose hunter. She stands above a mortally wounded moose, looks it straight in the eye, and yells "Palin 3:16 says I just capped your ass!"

Maybe we should save that one until after she wins the election.


jipzeecab said...

Politico had a brief piece yesterday about the many (it didn't say how many(?))times "Obama" had appeared as an answer in the NY Times Crossword puzzle while McCain had never appeared.
Of course on the scrabble scoring face of it appears that "Obama"would seem to have more cross structuring potential or would it?

Nicko McDave said...

Good to hear from you! I get worried when you don't post or comment for several weeks. I suppose you must be busy with all of the women since you posted your picture a few months ago.