Ohioans, Presidents, Rock-Throwers, Etc.

by Jay Nordlinger

In today’s Impromptus, I have an item on Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who will probably be elected to the Senate next month. And John Kasich will probably be elected governor of Ohio. An experienced Ohio hand says to me, “They both want to be president, they both could be president. John would be the better campaigner — he throws himself into it lustily. Rob would be the better president.”

I also have an item on Obama’s gracelessness — on his snippy, snotty remarks about conservatives, Republicans, and others not quite in love with him. Remember how he was supposed to have a “first-class temperament”? I say in my column that even third-class is pushing it. A reader writes,

I didn’t vote for George W. Bush either time . . . But one thing seems to draw little comment: He was subjected to the most intense and odious opprobrium in my lifetime, substantially worse than that flung at Nixon. There were the most vicious and vile accusations. And I cannot recall one instance where Bush lashed back or replied in kind.

Well, that’s the belligerent, crude cowboy for you.

Somewhere in my column, I mention the late Edward Said — and a reader has sent me this article from late September, which begins, “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to throw a rock at Israel to demonstrate his hatred on his planned trip to Lebanon . . .” Remember Said’s toss, while in Lebanon? He was hanging with the Hezbollah, and just had to throw a rock at Israel. You can see a picture of the great hurler here. His form’s pretty good — physically. Morally, it was atrocious. Paul Johnson identified him as the most destructive intellectual of his generation. A good call, in my opinion.

Finally, a reader sends an excited e-mail about Liu Xiaobo, the new Nobel peace laureate, about whom I’ve been writing and cannot be made to stop writing. The reader says,


I want a T-shirt with Liu’s face on it, à la Che, right now! I think red is still a great color, given he’s in China. If you hear about one, send me a note. Thanks!