May 05, 2008
The road to the White House often intersects the path of rapidly moving projectiles. Bravely volunteering to put themselves and their horses, naval vessels and airplanes into the way of arrows bullets , cannonballs torpedoes, and the odd destroyer launched Jackson, Tyler, Lincoln, Grant, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Bush 41 into the Oval Office ,and Senator McCain’s close encounter with a SAM in Nam has placed him in hot pursuit.
This puts paid to the Churchillian chestnut that there is nothing more exhilarating than being fired upon without effect, though as Dole and Kerry can testify, it is a political mystery why actually getting hit is nowhere near as effective. As a general rule, the larger the platform or unit commanded when clobbered , the more memorable the presidency, a regiment or PT boat outweighing a platoon , flatboat or a river launch, though it is possible to over- or under-achieve .
Getting his destroyer sunk instead of using it to set some aspirant German politician floundering in the Med merely subjected Earl Mountbatten to the indignity of being the last viceroy of a vanished empire, and the mere rumor of Senator Clinton sharing a county with a Ruritanian sniper has not served her candidacy well.
Were the Vegas paintball industry to collude with military surplus dealers and demolition derby organizers between now and November , they might come up with an aquatic theme park for aspirant politicians on the shores of Lake Mead. There. for a hefty fee, sensibly armored aspirants to high office might throw their Kevlar hats in the ring, and try to blow each other out of the air or water, After a few rounds , the fortunes of war would assure them all of the right to retire with slight bruising and well padded resumes, ready to enter the presidential lists at a cost smaller than a focus group directed TV campaign.
Russian, Uzbekh , and possibly Transdnistrian submarines, made redundant by the evaporation of the Warsaw Pact and the Aral Sea can still be had for a scant million, and getting Jimmy Carter sunk in one might rejuvenate his chances of a second term if he upstages Al Gore at the convention.
Prime time naval battles between candidates might easily outdraw presidential debates, justifying production upgrades to SSN’s like the Graustarck,( formerly CCCP Red November) shown here smuggling Kosevar cigarettes into Murmansk
Bolting couches and cribbage and Lepanto boards to the foredeck of a former Whiskey class vessel would afford space for President Carter’s crew of former admirers and campaign workers to applaud the spectacle, while the freedom to re-arrange themselves in the deck chairs on the fantail would assure the transparency of their WIFi connections to the Weekly Standard ‘s Galley Slave blog. Who would not pay to to see Ambassador Keyes take oar to save the world from rising seas by ramming a Titanic lifeboat replica into a styrofoam iceberg ?