The worst celebrations, &c.


A friend of mine wrote me and said, “Dan Quayle agrees with you!” Well, I always agree with Dan Quayle. What did my friend mean? He sent me a link to this article, which has Quayle defending Obama’s golf — I mean, Obama’s propensity to play golf. Quayle, as you may remember, is one of the best golfers ever to enter public life. (Once upon a time, Marty Russo, the congressman from Chicago, was the best golfer in Washington — certainly among the politicos.)

A little over a year ago, I wrote an essay for National Review, “Hail to the Golfer-in-Chief.” I said, “Frankly, one of the best things I know about President Obama is that he plays golf.” For one thing, it keeps him away from governing. I also like that Obama fills out NCAA brackets. Normality in a president is not a bad thing.

When I was working at The Weekly Standard, I wrote a piece on Tin Cup, a golf movie starring Kevin Costner. That was 15 years ago. You can find the piece here. After it appeared, Dan Quayle wrote me a letter, saying he had enjoyed it, and mentioning a recent novel: The Legend of Bagger Vance. He said he thought it would make a good movie. And, four years later, in 2000, the novel was, in fact, made into a movie. It was not a good movie, as I recall: but it certainly could have been.

When Quayle wrote me, in 1996, he was only four years removed from his vice-presidency. I didn’t know him from Adam. He signed his letter “Dan.” A really neat guy, Vice President Quayle.

Politico published an anti-Palin piece, quoting George Will. He is quoted as saying, “There’s no Reagan without Goldwater, no Goldwater without National Review and no National Review without Buckley — and the contrast between he and Ms. Palin is obvious.” First of all, the contrast between Bill and everyone is obvious. Bill was great at being Bill, and Palin is great at being Palin. Second, if Will said “between he and Ms. Palin,” instead of “between him and Mrs. Palin,” I’ll eat my hat.

I spotted a headline in The Spectator (over this article): “Liking the cut of Rommel’s uniform doesn’t make you a Nazi.” I’m thinking, “Yeah, but it’s a start.”

A reader wanted to celebrate the name of a BBC reporter: Damian Grammaticas. I agree!


Care for some music? For my latest in City Arts, go here. This one treats the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and the pianist Evgeny Kissin (or “Yevgeny Kissin,” as we first knew him, when he was a kid in a red Young Pioneers scarf — transliteration always seems to be changing).

For the past few months, I’ve been plugging the candidacy of my friend Ted Cruz, who’s running for the Republican Senate nomination in Texas. This is the seat of Kay Bailey Hutchison, who’s retiring. I ballyhooed him when he announced: here. But I’m going to ballyhoo a bit more, before saying goodbye for today.

Ted is what I call an “all-rounder” (a term they use in cricket). What I mean is, he is steeped in the law, economics, foreign policy, education policy — pretty much everything. Also, he is fearless, dauntless. And a true Reagan conservative.

Not least, he can talk — oh, my, can he talk. He was something like debate champion of the world when he was at Princeton. I’m always looking for a conservative Republican who can talk. We’re always getting out-talked, it seems, in political debates. You want to out-talk Ted? Just try it. Not much of a chance.

I find the prospect of Ted Cruz in the Senate downright exciting. The second he gets there, he’s not just another conservative senator: He’s a national leader of our cause. What do I mean by “our cause”? Reaganism, in a nutshell.

I’m about to stop campaigning and plugging, but let me just say that I’m going to attend a fundraiser for Ted next week — in New York. He’s raising money all over the country, from conservatives who want him to succeed. I’ve never been to a political fundraiser before. And one of the joys of being an opinion journalist is that you can go full-bore in support of a candidate. This one, I feel sure, is worth going full-bore for.

Take a look at his website, if you’re so disposed — here. Kick the tires. Feel him out. Politicians are always breaking your heart, you know. That’s one thing Bill Rusher, NR’s former publisher, said: “They’ll always let you down, no matter how they are.” Candidates say certain things on the trail, and then, once they’re in office, all bets are off. But Cruz is different, I can say with confidence. You can take him to the bank.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox (till the next time). Thanks so much for joining me, and see you soon.