October 23, 2007
Yesterday I noticed an article in the New York Post about two adjoining apartments off Central Park East that had contributed tens of millions of dollars to both Hillary and Rudy. These two brick-stone apartments by themselves could apparently pay for the war chest of a competitive presidential candidate, and the stockbrokers, real estate tycoons, and investment bankers residing there were about equally excited about both of the celebrities they were endorsing with megabucks.
Having thought about these buildings and their residents as sources of funding for our two presidential candidates, it struck me that there isn”t much of a difference in what these benefactors are funding. It is quite possible that the same people are giving money to both of these presidential choices, with the intention of keeping the two in the lead in their respective parties. That way whichever candidate makes it down the stretch, the payer will not be disappointed by the outcome. Either way the person installed as W’s victorious successor will be a social liberal who could be counted on to take the proper side in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Moreover, the preferred candidate would do nothing as president to interrupt the flow of cheap illegal domestic services or to cater to the hated Religious Right, except in Rudi’s case by giving his fans lots of saber-rattling.
Given these presumably overlapping interests among the apartment dwellers, wouldn”t it therefore make sense to feature two appropriate national candidates in the next presidential race, that is, the Demorepublican choice of the apartment’s occupants and someone else for the rest of us? The question of whether the apartments” candidate will be Hillary or Rudi can be settled by the flip of a coin. No doubt if Hillary were asked “in what way are you socially conservative?” she could do at least as well as Rudi did in the Florida debate and in the preceding forensic exhibitions when he responded “I brought down crime in New York” and “I lowered the city’s deficit.” And the two apartment candidates already gave identical answers when asked about their very pro-choice positions on abortion: “I favor adoptions.” Perhaps Hillary could produce a variation on Rudi’s response to the question about “social conservatism” by claiming to have been the senior president at Wellesley or by claiming to oversee the budget for salaries for her senatorial staff. If Rudi is making “conservative social values” synonymous with managerial experience or else getting vagrants off the streets of the Big Apple, surely Hillary could conjure up her own creative value-examples.
Afterwards there may be a really big fight as to who the other candidate will be. And the far Left might outfox us in getting its candidate ratified by the mammoth nominating convention we may have to hold after the two apartments had agreed on a single candidate. But even that may be a tolerable price to pay for not having to vote for either one of the apartment’s top two candidates. For those who may not be following American politics, it is those candidates who are leading in both the apartments with drop-dead money and among the likely primary voters in the two national parties. Far be it from me to suggest a correlation.