Saturday, February 6, 2016

Barney At The Airport

Seeing Barney Frank at Logan this morning, I was reminded of something you tend to forget when you watch public figures on T.V. 
Living in Washington, DC it was easy to remember those images on TV actually belonged to real people. I filled my car tank at the gas station on River Road where Wolf Blitzer filled his tank.  Henry Waxman bought milk at the High's store in Glen Echo. Supreme Court justices belonged to my swimming pool. When you see people in the flesh, you realize, oh, they're just people, but you tend to forget that when your only connection is television.

I've never met Hillary, but everyone in my town seems to have met her and they all remark how small she is, physically. (Not spiritually.)  Her energy and warmth do not translate well to the cool medium of TV, apparently.

I've been roiling that my favorite politician, Barney Frank, is not running for President, or perhaps, Vice President with Elizabeth Warren for President.

But seeing Barney Frank today, I could understand immediately why he retired. He is vastly overweight and moves painfully, his trousers slipping down below his gut, the cuffs dragging along the floor as he walks. He pants with the short exertion required to get him to the ticket counter. Nobody says anything to him, either because they don't recognize him with his scruffy beard, or because they are Bostonians and they respect his space. 

But, it is clear, physically, he is struggling. And it is sad to see a man with such a lively brain, with a steel honed wit, capable of great clarity and insight, carrying the cross of physical infirmity. He could not run for President because he could not muster the stamina to walk, much less to run, much less to rule.

I have seen Bernie from a distance, and despite his age, he looks pretty good for 74. But even on TV, he does not look vital and vigorous. 

We have to remember the Presidency is a marathon punctuated by sprints.

I'm not even sure Hillary, who was born the same year I was, is physically up to the task. But she looks like a better bet.

If either Hillary or Bernie wins, I sure hope they pick a vigorous Vice President. Martin O'Malley looks fit enough.
And let's not forget Elizabeth Warren. 

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