The Corner

Beware the Legacy-Seeker

Today’s Impromptus is a typical potpourri, beginning with Marva Collins, the late, great educator out of Chicago, and ending with Wally Joyner, the hitting coach of the Detroit Tigers. In between are John Kerry, George W. Bush, and other folks.

“Folks,” our president likes to say. I never disliked the word — until he came along. He says “folks” when he’s trying to be normal. When he’s trying to say, “I’m not the campus radical I actually am!”

John Kerry, his secretary of state, is one scary dude. A newspaper headline captured the problem perfectly when it said that Kerry was looking for a “legacy hit.” “For Kerry, Iran deal would be a legacy hit after many misses.”

He won his party’s presidential nomination, but didn’t win the presidency. He was in the Senate for a jillion years but did basically squat (except for voting the party line). A nuke deal with the mullahs would be his “legacy hit.”

Beware the man who wants to be something. That man is often a very dangerous character. How about the epitaph “He did no harm”? Not sexy enough. But men who do no harm are better than most, probably.

P.S. I have no language note in today’s Impromptus. I’ll do one here. I say, in my column, that I added the name “Marva” to my spell-check dictionary, in tribute to the late and marvelous Mrs. Collins.

Her name reminds me of a word: “Delmarva.” (Not sure it’s in my dictionary. Probably not.) It is used in the Chesapeake region and stands for “Delaware-Maryland-Virginia.” I was just in that region last week. Wonderful part of the world (though damn steamy in the summer).

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