Jimmy Carter is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, thus affording us the delicious irony of seeing before-and-after, three-dimensional pictures of the same model of inept chief executive. On the one hand, the current candidate, bold, confidant, undaunted by his lack of experience; on the other, the embittered, unstable ex-president, who also arrived at the White House with the clueless amateur’s do-it-yourself attitude and unfounded optimism, the painful consequences of which still linger in the national memory as a sort of tragicomic coda to the decade of the 1970’s.
I wonder what Carter will say and do? I imagine his speech will be vetted by less fevered brains, but how can the party bosses make sure that he’ll stick to the script? What if he dons a keffiyeh? Will stagehands be standing by with a hook? Will Obama be compelled to use some portion of his own speech for the purpose of wedging Carter under the bus of misfit supporters? This may well be the only speech at the convention I watch; it is sure to be of interest, if only to spot the horrified dawning of understanding on the faces of at least some of the members of the audience, the traumatic discovery of two peas in a pod.
When the executive has no experience, the key question becomes, "who will he listen to?"
"Ok, Jimmy, here's what you do. Load the bases and then strike three guys out. You'll be a freakin' hero!"