Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Is the White House up for sale?

Is it possible to buy the presidency? It may have been done sometime in the past, perhaps the recent past, but this year the question will be answered for once and for all. If Mitt Romney becomes the next president, the answer is a resounding yes.
What qualifications for the job does Romney possess? He served a term as a governor. He is the son of a former governor of Michigan. He was CEO of the 2002 winter Olympics. Above all, though, he made millions, hundreds of millions apparently, in business. Much of this came from leveraged buyouts that cost many working people their jobs. His fortune came from paper transactions, not from inventing something or building something. He isn't a Harvey Firestone or a Henry Ford so you won't find his name on a car or a tire.
Romney attended a private prep school, Cranbrook, went to Stanford for two years and graduated with honors from Brigham Young. He earned a law degree at Harvard. Obviously he is a highly intelligent man. Does that qualify him to be president? Perhaps, although the country has many highly intelligent men and women.
As governor of Massachusetts Romney flip-flopped on a number of controversial issues. He raised taxes on things that cost average people money. He reduced funds for higher education, forcing state universities to raise tuition by 63 per cent. He signed legislation forcing people to buy health insurance from private companies or face higher income taxes. He left office with an approval rating of 43 per cent.
None of that qualifies or disqualifies him from seeking the presidency. Nor does the fact that his entire life has been spent among the wealthy. It should be a mark against him, though, that he has never been in close contact with working men and women. He doesn't know what it means to face a daily struggle to keep food on the table or make the mortgage payment.
The real rub, however, is that he has already spent $20 million of his own money on his campaign to be the next resident of the White House. If he wins it will prove the presidency goes to the highest bidder, that the old belief that any newborn can grow up to be president no longer is true and the man or woman without a personal fortune is licked before the race begins. Let's hope we have not reached that point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far as I know, no poor man (or even middle-class man) has ever become president. To stand a chance of running a successful campaign you need, if not a personal fortune, to be in good with people who have personal fortunes. No mere million dollars will do. For the average guy, who can only dream what a million dollars looks like, the presidency is similarly a dream.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Dick Stodghill said...

Offhand I can think of Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, James A. Garfield, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. None of them started life with much of anything.

2:38 PM  

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