The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

Oct 15

Your link discussing your former high school econ teacher, Mr. Head, buried the lead that you are a seasoned politician yourself. Someday, between now and our temporary epistolary blog's expiration date, you must share your story of winning the student body presidency. As it happens, I too was a chief executive, president of Theta Xi fraternity, Alpha Beta chapter, Spring '92. I don't remember my platform--something to do with promising to pursue diplomatic relations without preconditions with Kappa Kappa Gamma--but I do remember that I was the McCain-like figure, having been bested in a previous semester's race by a younger, Obama-like upstart, who probably had more to offer than "I've been around a while and kind of know what's going on." It's possible that I was running unopposed. The victory would make sense that way. The good news is that when I took control, unlike our current government, we were financially solvent, able to fund both our yearly Aztec party (featuring an above ground pool and ethnically insensitive garb), and our Hurricane bash (featuring projectile vomiting of the eponymous punch and rum drink). Plus, the president got a suite with his own bathroom and parking spot. That said, the house we lived in, built in the 1920s and an architectural landmark of sorts, was torn down this past summer since it became impossible to maintain. Let's hope it isn't a symbol for the ultimate demise of our market economy. As you note, no lead is safe, something the Bears proved once again this past Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The question is if in the final weeks Obama will try a squib kick in the final debate, followed by a bend so far it actually breaks defense, allowing McCain to squeak by on a last second electoral field goal. Given the quality of Obama's campaign thus far and his apparent ability to learn from previous mistakes, I remain confident in the campaign's ability to absorb whatever punches McCain has left to throw. Conservatives of a stripe seem to be losing confidence in McCain and jumping onto the Obama bandwagon (including Christopher Buckley who was defenestrated from The National Review for his trouble), increasingly leaving McCain with, if not the fringe, those who live at least closer to the edge. In endorsing Obama, Buckley cited the quality of Obama's first book, Dreams of My Father, as a testament to both the intellect and spirit of the man. I've read the book, and I concur. If Obama wins it'll be hands down the best book written by a president, unless we find out that Saul Bellow was a nom de plume for Ronald Reagan. In a desperation move, some at the National Review site are not only disputing that Obama authored Dreams of My Father, but that William Ayers wrote it for him. I shit you not. I used to think that leftists had the market cornered on conspiracy theory nuttery, but it looks like an Obama presidency might shift the locus of the whack-job industry rightward. Ann Coulter's got some fresh company. Today we get the last debate and the punditry is saying that McCain needs nothing short of a "knock-out." I'm not sure if they're advocating that McCain physically strike Obama or not, but judging from loons that continue to blow hard into the open mics at Palin rallies that's something the core of McCain's support might be looking for. I'm not ready to do the Ickey shuffle, but following the debate it might be time to start putting the champagne on ice. Oh, who am I kidding? When Kyle Orton threw the tying touchdown (followed by the leading extra point) with 11 seconds left against the Falcons last Sunday, I turned to the dog and said, "that's just enough time to lose if everything goes wrong." I'll be biting my fingers down to the second knuckle until Election Day.

TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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