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Today’s Impromptus has the usual mélange of items, and I wanted to do follow-ups on two of them. In one of the items, I have occasion to mention Barack Obama’s time as an Illinois legislator. He was famous — at least later — for voting “present.” Not “yes” or “no,” but “present.” After writing my column, I got to thinking of Rudy Giuliani’s riff on this. It was at the 2008 Republican convention — pretty funny.

And here it is, preserved immortally (or at least as long as YouTube lasts). (Which is forever, isn’t it? A shuddersome thought.) (“Shuddersome” ought to be a word, and perhaps now is.)

Toward the end of my column, I say something about Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tiger. (By the way, I’m referring to tomorrow’s All-Star game as “the Tiger game.”) Here is my follow-up: In a recent game, he struck out — and smiled at the pitcher. “Yeah, you got me,” he was saying. “Good pitch.”

Cabrera is not only a great player, he is a wonderfully genial spirit. Of course, when you’re a great player, you can afford to be. (Although no one told Ty Cobb or Barry Bonds.) (Or Williams or DiMaggio.) (We could go on.)

P.S. Giuliani was once known as “America’s Mayor.” That happens to be the title of my column today. But I’m referring, ironically, to the mayor of San Diego: who made a statement that reeks of modern Americanness (and “reeks” is the word).



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