Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Monday, July 05, 2004

Mindless fun at the YMCA, and a long walk on a small planet

Colin Powell - wouldn't you love him on a GOP rescue ticket? Lots of people would. Here's our ever-excellent Kathleen Parker and her take on Colin Powell: The man who wouldn't be president:

Outside the Beltway, no single individual is so admired or so unlikely to fill the office to which many still wish he would aspire.

Yep. 'Nuff said. Dreams die hard, though. A Washington post story about Bush's appearance in West Virginia the other day, headlined "Wars Bring Security At Home, Bush Says", highlights an persistent undercurrent of support among Democrats:

Buck Flynn, a retired Verizon Communications worker who lives in Charleston, said Bush gave a "good speech and I think he's done well. It's a tough job."

But Flynn, 66, a Democrat, said he will more likely vote for Kerry. "I think he will take the country in a different direction and I think the economy will be better under the Democrats," he said.

If Flynn had his druthers, though, his candidate would be Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "I would have been out there beating the bushes, with flags and everything!" he said, his face lighting up.

That last paragraph was cut from the Billing's Gazette version, and the Boston Globe version. No use raising hopes. Confused dreamers, avaunt!

Powell seems an unlikely figure to inspire a lighting up of faces. He epitomizes moderation, not passionate intensity. But with the gyre set in motion by Dubya & Co. widening daily, maybe that's what people want these days.

And he can be a fun guy, too. No, really. If he wanted the Log Cabin Republicans, and perhaps the gay vote generally, he may be well on his way. Can you think of another public figure who would take on the Village People's "YMCA", at a staid event like Asia's largest security meeting? Sure, he was the compromiser-in-chief for the don't-ask-don't-tell policy. But was any other policy likely to fly?

Today's other story: "Canadian in Kenya on solo walk round the world"

“My goal is not to realise any kind of record. This is an effort, in my own way to promote the culture of peace and non-violence, a different and unique way to understand the world,” he explained.

The message certainly got through to a would-be mugger in South Africa, who ended up handing over a few rand to the Canadian.

How's that for disarming? More people like this, and we'll all put down our guns. You can track his World Wide Walk at Want to contact him along the way? No hurry - he'll be at it for 8 more years at this rate.


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