Thursday, November 06, 2008

No More About the Election After This

Memo to the rest of the world, and a fair number of Americans: You will be disappointed as the new president takes a serious interest in maintaining the substance of U.S. power worldwide. However, as he goes about it, his style will be different from George W. Bush, which may satisfy some people.

Even I had to look up a list of failed Republican vice presidential nominees, whom the governor of Alaska now joins. The list begins with William L. Dayton, Frémont's running mate, and includes more obscurities than notables. Besides Dayton, there's John Logan, Whitelaw Reid, Nicholas Butler, Frank Knox, Charles McHary, John Bricker, Earl Warren, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., William E. Miller (whose daughter is not a Goldwaterite), Bon Dole and Jack Kemp.

But obscurity is mostly the fate even of those who become vice president and not president. Toward the end of this century, for instance, will Dan Quayle be any better known than Levi P. Morton is now? (Morton held the job 100 years before Quayle.) Al Gore has a better chance of being remembered, not for his veep years, but rather for being the Samuel J. Tilden of our time and perhaps for his other post-veep activities.


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