A Bolton-Like Time

by Jay Nordlinger

I was e-mailing with some friends about John Bolton — the prospect of a presidential run by him. I found myself saying, “It’s hard to see how he wins the nomination. But, you know? I could see him winning the general. I may be on crack, but I can see it. These are perilous times, at home and abroad. Americans may see the virtue of — indeed, the need for — electing someone like Bolton. He is strong medicine.”

I then thought of something Phil Gramm told me, some years ago. It was 2001, and the great Texas senator had just announced his retirement. He and I had a little “exit interview,” so to speak. I asked about his presidential candidacy in 1996.

He said, “I was a poor candidate. I did a bad job. There’s no one to blame but myself.” Moreover, “America was never going to elect me unless there was a crisis. And people didn’t see a crisis in 1996. I was the wrong person at the wrong time. And there may never have been a right time for me.” (For the article in question, go here.)

Let me repeat some of those words: “America was never going to elect me unless there was a crisis.” Well, in 2012, we have an opening, I believe, for a Gramm, for someone who is strong — and wonderful, glorious — medicine.

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