I was on vacation all week and a lot has happened but I doubt the world has been waiting for pronouncements from this corner on everything that's been happening. But I do have a few quick thoughts:
- As it happens, Sen. Obama went on vacation at the same time I did. He was in Hawaii and apparently was doing some windsurfing or somesuch. Good for him and, truth be told, it was a good idea for him to get away for awhile. The primary reason that some of Sen. McCain's shots about Obama's celebrity have been so effective is because Obama has been ubiquitous. Most people in the world get a vacation; no reason that presidential candidates shouldn't. I surely didn't miss seeing Obama's mug (or McCain's, for that matter) much in the last week.
- While we're at it, let's give the "George W. Bush has been on vacation for 1000 days" meme a rest, too. Whatever else you think about W., anyone who honestly looks at the matter knows that a sitting president is always on duty, even if he's not sitting in the Oval Office. I saw Bush on television the other day and he looked like hell. So did Clinton in August, 2000, Reagan in August, 1988, etc. Presidents can be foolish knaves, but there has never been a lazy one in my lifetime. Bush gets more grief about being away from Washington because he drags his entourage to Crawford rather than the more desirable addresses that Clinton used to frequent.
- I've been trying to catch up on the situation in Georgia but I'm still not sure what to think. Putin is testing us. He won't be the only person to test us in the coming years. That much is certain.
- The picture I posted earlier today is an image of Schaller's Pump, an old-time restaurant/watering hole in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. Aside from City Hall, it's one of the most important political addresses on the Chicago map, since it sits across the street from the 11th Ward HQ. The 11th Ward, and Bridgeport generally, is home base for the Daleys, who run Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and (from time to time) much more. Barack Obama would not be where he is today if he didn't have the blessing of the habitues of Schaller's Pump.