Media Blog

Those Jesse Helms Obits

Okay, a last word on the media coverage of Jesse Helms’s death: Practically every write-up prominently mentioned the senator’s blocking the appointment of William Weld as ambassador to Mexico. This little episode got huge play. I like Weld, both for his small-government instincts and for his sense of humor — joking about “amber-colored liquids,” being dizzy after receiving booster shots (shots administered by Dr. J. Daniels of Tennessee) and his famous observation that his family arrived in the New World in 1630 with “nothing but the shirts on their backs and 2000 pounds of gold.” But it’s hard to imagine that the fate of the Republic ever was going to turn upon the diplomatic presence of William Weld in Mexico City. It’s hard to imagine the circumstances in which the nation would collectively exclaim: “Thank God William Weld was on the job in Mexico.”

On the other hand, Mexico does have some fine amber-colored liquids:

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