May the nation’s second woman president rest in peace.
Nancy Reagan had a harder job than Edith Bolling Wilson. With Woodrow Wilson’s press secretary Joe Tumulty, Mrs. Wilson limited access to the disabled president from his 1919 stroke until the end of his term in 1921.
Historians have long decried Mrs. Wilson’s relaying “decisions” from the stricken president’s sickbed without any verification as to whether or not he had issued them.
Mrs. Reagan had to maintain the façade that President Reagan remained in full command of his faculties, doubts about which began with his 1984 debate meltdown with challenger Walter Mondale.
The infamous video of Mrs. Reagan whispering lines to her forgetful husband was rebroadcast often after her death this week.
HELP WANTED, SPELLCHECKER. “CONGRATULATIONS!!! Andrew – Polls just closed on the East Coast, and already, we’ve won Virgina and Georgia.”
Thus effused a March 2 e-mail from Hillary Clinton, reproduced verbatim. Exactly 37 minutes later, another arrived, modified only by addition of the letter “i.”
Jake Highton would have removed two exclamation points, two commas and two caps. Me too, but neither of us is job hunting.
I pray for and fear for the health and career of the poor staffer who blew it.
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE DEPT. In the Feb. 23 Barbwire, I reported my conversation with Titanic actress Frances Fisher, a Bernie Sanders supporter.
“Should Sanders lose, I fear that the young people he motivated will fall into the same abyss as the Baby Boomers after the Kennedy-King assassinations and largely drop out of politics,” I noted.
No less than legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader and killer Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi have since agreed.
“Every four years, both parties become more corporatist,” Nader stated on March 4, adding that “Sanders voters may not go back into the Democratic Party fold.”
In his March 10 cover story, Taibbi growled, “Every four years, some Democrat who’s been a lifelong friend of labor runs…and… gets thrown over by national labor bosses in favor of some party lifer with his signature on a half-dozen job-exporting free-trade agreements.”
The hillsides are littered with the bones of “it’s my turn” candidates like Hubert Humphrey, John McCain and Robert Dole. Hillary resembles that remark.
Campaigning in rural Nevada, Ms. Fisher found that Bernie is cool with “NRA cowboys” revolted by Hillary’s candidacy. Donald Trump cracks the liberal base by appealing to such angry blue-collar Democrats. Bernie can hold them, Hillary cannot. And two of five union members are already suicidal Republicans – dammit! (Barbwire Feb. 23)
Taibbi agrees with my Feb. 14 doomsday scenario: “King Trump. Brace yourselves America. It’s really happening,” Taibbi concludes.
How will Trump govern? The precedents are Andrew Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenneger. That’s really bad. More soon.
HAIL, CÉSAR! On the Ides of March, longtime Nevadan Ramón Chávez will accept the Washoe County Commission’s annual César Chávez Day proclamation on behalf of his family and late uncle. Nevada César Chávez Celebration XIV happens March 30 at Circus Circus-Reno. For information, contact me or go to CesarChavezNevada.com/
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.