Weekly Roundup: Joe’s Been Warned Edition

They say he’s gonna do it. Last time, they kept him from doing it, whoever “they” are. Now Peggy Noonan has chimed in with her thoughts about the rough treatment Joe Biden can expect, should he be reckless enough to stand in the way of “Beto” or Kamala:

If Biden Runs, They’ll Tear Him Up
The old Democratic Party was warm, like him. The new one rising is colder, less human and divisive.
By
Peggy Noonan
April 4, 2019 7:24 p.m. ET
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Don’t do it, Joe.
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Don’t run for president. It won’t work, you won’t get the nomination, your loss will cause pain and not only for you.
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And your defeat will be worse than sudden, it will be poignant.
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Right now operatives for the other candidates are trying to scare you out of jumping in. We all know that what you intended as warmth is now received as a boundary violation. You addressed this in a video that was crisp and friendly: You never meant to cause discomfort, you intend to change your ways.
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But it’s not going away. It will linger, and more will come.
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Democratic operatives do not fear you will win the nomination—they think you’re too old, your time has passed, you’re not where the energy of the base is, or the money. But they do not want you taking up oxygen the next six to 10 months as you sink in the polls. And they don’t want you swooping in to claim the middle lane. Others already have a stake there, or mean to.
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In the past you were never really slimed and reviled by your party; you were mostly teased and patronized. But if you get in the race this time, it will be different. They will show none of the old respect for you, your vice presidency or your past fealty to the cause. And you are in the habit of receiving respect. Soon the topic will turn, in depth, to Anita Hill, the Clinton crime bill, your friendliness to big business. You have opposed partial-birth abortion. Also, the old plagiarism video will come back and be dissected. It was more than 30 years ago, and for a lot of reporters and voters it will be a riveting story, and brand new.Joe Biden at the 1987 Iowa State Fair. Photo: Shelly Katz/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
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You backed the Iraq war. That question will be resurrected, as opposed to redebated. It is always fair to redebate it—to be asked, “Why did your generation of Democratic politicians back that war. Looking back what did you misunderstand?” But it will only be resurrected, and thrown in your face.
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You will be judged to be old-school, and insufficiently doctrinaire. The current Democratic Party is different from the one you entered in the late 1960s, not only in policies but in mood, tone, style. Today’s rising young Democrats see no honor in accommodation, little virtue in collegiality.
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In the old party of classic 20th-century Democratic liberalism, they wanted everyone to rise. Those who suffered impediments—minorities, women, working people trying to unionize—would be given a boost. There’s plenty to go around, America’s a rich country, let the government get in and help.
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The direction, or at least the aspiration, was upward, for everybody.
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The mood of the rising quadrants of the new party is more pinched—more abstractedly aggrieved, more theoretical. Less human. Now there’s a mood not of Everyone Can Rise but of Some Must Be Taken Down. White people in general, and white males in particular, are guilty of intractable privilege. It’s bitter, resentful, divisive.
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And it is at odds with the spirit in which your political categories were formed. Actually, your politics always struck me as being like the World War II movies Americans of a certain age grew up on. The American soldiers are in the foxhole in Bataan, and there’s the working-class guy from Brooklyn, the tall Ivy League guy, the baker’s apprentice from Ohio. They’re all together and equal, like the country they represent. When the war’s over they’ll probably stay friends and the Brooklyn guy will be in the union and the Ivy League fancy-pants will be in management, but they’ll quickly forge the new contract and shake on the deal because back when it counted we were all in it together.
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That is not the 2019 Democratic Party! This party would note, correctly, that there was little racial diversity in the foxhole, and would elaborate that its false unity was built on intersectional oppressions that render its utility as a unifying metaphor null.
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The party’s young theorists are impatient with such gooey patriotic sentiment. America is not good guys in a foxhole to them, it’s crabs in a barrel with the one who gets to the top getting yanked down to the bottom—deservedly.
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Your very strength—that you enjoy talking to both sides, that deep in your heart you see no one as deplorable—will be your weakness. You aren’t enough of a warrior. You’re sweet, you’re weak, you’re half-daffy. You’re meh.
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At this point you’re not out of step, you’re out of place.
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The press too will have certain biases, and not only because they’re 30 and 40 years younger than you and would like to see their careers associated with the rise of someone their age. Their bias is also toward drama, as you well know—toward pathos, and the end of something. They love that almost as much as the beginning of something. They can’t wait to write their Lion in Winter stories. “The Long Goodbye.” “The Last Campaign.” “Biden faltered for just a moment when a white-haired woman put her hand to his face and said, ‘I remember you from ’88, Joe. We all do, and we love you.”
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And that is apart from those young reporters who consider themselves culture cops, and who enjoy beating people like you with the nightstick of their wokeness.
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Why will it be painful to witness all this? Because it will mark the fall of a political figure who was normal. Who knew there was a left over here and a right over there and a big middle. Who went with the flow of cultural leftism but understood the other side’s reservations and signaled that in some way he had some sympathy for them. Who knew politics wasn’t always about absolutes.
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This in contrast to the up-and-coming manipulators for whom it is second nature to feign warmth and outreach, but whose every hug is backed by the sharp and crooked finger of accusation. Their engine is resentment, their fuel is unearned self-esteem, their secret is lust for power.
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You probably think they’re just girls who need a hug.
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But their place is not your place.
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It would be one thing if you wanted to enter the race to persuade the party on the merits of more-centrist approaches and working with the other side. But is that your intention? You’ve been apologizing for calling Mike Pence decent, and groveling over your “white man’s culture.” If you go with that flow, it will wash you away.
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It is hard for the political personality to say no—to more fame, more power, more love. To the history books. It is hard for a man who’s always seen a president when he looked in the mirror to admit he’s an almost-president. It’s hard to get out of the habit of importance.
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But you’ll never be unimportant. You’ll be Joe Biden, a liberal lion of the U.S. Senate at the turn of century. A man with a heart, unhated in an age of hate.
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That’s not nothing, that’s a lot.
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So don’t do it. Wisdom here dictates an Irish goodbye—a quiet departure, out the back door with a wave and a tip of the hat to whoever might be watching.

The phrase that stands out here, to me, is “…those young reporters who consider themselves culture cops, and who enjoy beating people like you with the nightstick of their wokeness.” Isn’t that more than just the young reporters nowadays? Isn’t a major portion of America engaged in a gotcha game where you simply repeat popular opinions while waiting for someone to state an unpopular and/or original opinion — then you stone that person to death, either literally or through the kinder, gentler method of rendering them unemployable? And in places where there is absolutely no diversity of opinion permitted (college campuses, West Coast tech firms, anywhere the HR apparatchiks wield absolute power) it’s not enough to blindly repeat the mandatory mantras of wokeness. You have to make sure that you’re not the first person to stop clapping.

There’s an alternative, of course. Mr. Biden could declare himself the leader of a newly-formed centrist party, something along the lines of Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, and run for president that way. Could he beat Kamala and Trump? I don’t see how he couldn’t do it. Virtually every Democrat outside California would vote for him, as would many disaffected Republicans. Ah, but whom could he select as Vice President? Feel free to offer your suggestions, but I think the smartest and most strategic thing to do would be to offer the job to… Michelle Obama. Let the Democratic media machine chew on that. If nothing else, it would make for great television.

* * *

For Hagerty, I covered surprising C8 news, the newly released Escape, and the secret miseries of ridesharing.

41 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Joe’s Been Warned Edition”

  1. Avatarlink3721

    The media/party elite bubble isn’t big on Biden, however the general Democrat electorate likes him. He makes them (the electorate) think of Obama (I believe Biden has the best polling among black people, better than Harris or Booker). To me the Democrat elite is way out of step with what the Democrat electorate wants. The elites want someone new and different and progressive, the electorate just wants someone who can beat Trump. That’s why Biden and Sanders are polling so well. If Biden or Sanders had been the candidate in 2016 instead of Clinton, Trump wouldn’t be President.

    If/when Biden jumps in, I think he’ll continue to poll well regardless of the “touching”narrative. It’s just not playing well with the electorate. I think once more of the electorate starts to pay attention to others in the race, others may finally start gaining ground against Biden and Sanders, say this fall.

    Reply
  2. AvatarJustPassinThru

    I despair of the political situation today. Half the nation wishes the other half in Hell; and is willing to disintegrate the nation, with insane border, or non-border, proposals and insistences, to so effect. And of those filled with unreasoning hatred, the absolute worst element is rising to the top, claiming to be the leaders – to the Utopia of “Socialism,” to “Reparations” based on skin hue, to a marvelous place where what you can do and say depends on what group that government has cast you into.

    There is little to be said about that. I expect Biden will be beaten mercilessly, as Peggy suggests; and I expect the stupidity of the emerging candidate will only be surpassed by his/her raw hatred.

    And there is nothing I can do with it, except plan: Gold, guns (not many) and a map to an exit. Probably Central America.

    As to rideshare services: You are right, that is a sucker’s bet. For the AWARE, it’s not so bad a deal…for the last 18 months, biding my time until I reached the age of eligibility for Railroad Retirement…I was driving for the bigger of the two. What I was doing, was taking value out of my car, and into my pocket, in small sums. I knew this, and figured it was a more-convenient way to do it than to just sell the car.

    Actually it worked okay. I made about $15,000 driving for them, and ran a $4000 car into the ground. The transmission in mine went out, too – but fortuiously, just as I no longer needed to do it.

    It is one way to bridge a gap. For those who know what they’re doing, and can work it (for example, I’m close enough to the regional airport to get airport calls without sitting out there. I ran the app in the comfort of my front room)…for some of us, it can work.

    Reply
    • Avatarhank chinaski

      It warrants despair. One half simply wishes to be left to it’s own devices and is slowly recognizing that it won’t be tolerated. The other half actively translplants rapidly reproducing hostile demographics to tilt elections and now nakedly wishes to overturn protections specifically designed to protect small states (or for that matter the Republic itself). ‘Muh popular vote’

      Biden will serve his chosen role as a placeholder until 2024. He’s vanilla enough to placate Boomer-cons and so-called white moderates and will serve well in the primaries as a Trump-surrogate pinata for the enraged left. Again, he’s spent and has no political capital to lose. Why Peggy is commenting on this at all strikes me as odd.

      As far as ride sharing goes, don’t be a woman of child bearing age over a ‘5’, and drive something designed for abuse that is cheap to repair (and better, do it yourself). These companies run a sucker’s game…privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

      Reply
  3. AvatarJohn C.

    Nice April fools on the Corvette, too bad they couldn’t just use a quad four. If they are going to do a stupid mid engine, why not go full fathers Oldsmobile and copy that old Olds Aerotech pace car.

    On Biden, I still haven’t forgiven him for the beer summit where Scranton Joe let that beat cop be forced to kiss the ring of that perfumed prince/ empty suit Louis Gates while he squirted lemon in his beer.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      Read the police report. Gates completely cooperated with the cops and produced ID. They were just upset that he kept running his mouth so they baited an irate man to leave the legal protection of his home out on to his porch where they could arrest him for making a ruckus. I think Obama handled the matter badly, but from my perspective it was mostly a case of cops acting like cops do.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        If Gates’s substance was 10% of how far he has gotten, he would have known how to handle an interaction with the police. Thinking only of himself and small minded, he could not put himself in the place of a cop approaching someone breaking into a house. Obama only had Biden there to defer the visual of two ultra privileged blacks piling on a working class white guy. What an opportunity for someone with power to interject how the cop must have felt. However Biden didn’t care about that when he is so much more comfortable with power than the regular guy. With his carefully crafted image, I expected more

        Reply
  4. AvatarCrancast

    Appreciate the view behind the scenes at Hagerty earlier in the week, and the Escape piece is spot on. The exterior styling feels a little too safe, while understandably so given its market position.

    There has not been a better opportunity for a 3rd party candidate since Perot. Sure a 3rd party ticket would take a beating from both sides, but that would only help them push the disfunction narrative. Someone like Kasich, Hogan, Nikki Haley, or any other centrist flyover state Republican VP paired with a likable enough Democrat Pres candidate, like Biden, would totally win. But Biden will not do it, his meal ticket is Dem speaking engagements.

    Reply
    • AvatarGregg Dunn

      Kasich is a terrible, terrible, terrible person. He is a saboteur. It is bad enough he got elected in Ohio.

      Reply
      • Avatarrambo furum

        Kasich served as a useful idiot for the left for way too long, jumping on camera to be a dissenting (R) pol. As a gun-grabber he was already anti-American, so it should’ve surprised no decent citizen.
        I have no idea what Nimrata Randhawa ever did outside of not being a white male, unless one counts her advocacy for that parasitic foreign nation.

        Reply
          • Avatarrambo furum

            Here’s a clue: the parasitic nation is the top recipient of US foreign aid, doubling the amount given to second slot nation.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            Do you include the cost of defending Europe, Japan, and South Korea in your calculations?

            As for the Jewish thorn in your side, the majority of U.S. aid to Israel is earmarked for the purchase of U.S. military equipment. Considering that employs Americans, it’s the exact opposite of a parasitic relationship.

          • Avatarrambo furum

            birju, got a source? This .gov site here shows most recent full year having three biggies, and the other two are nations we were at war with this century (one war being decidedly in the interests of that third nation). https://explorer.usaid.gov/aid-trends.html

            The charade of a foreign nation taking our money and “buying” war machines from us with our money merely means that both nations seem to have an active interest in promoting war and profiting off of the US taxpayer, which is as far from praiseworthy as can be. The economy, and more importantly our citizens’ lives, could be put toward more beneficial aims instead.

    • Avatarlink3721

      I doubt there will be a meaningful third party run until something like ranked choice voting or proportional delegates becomes standard everywhere. Perot got about 1 in 5 votes with no electoral college delegates to show for it. That seems ridiculous.

      I think Biden’s time was 2016. There are better candidates that are also moderate (O’Rourke and Buttigieg come to mind) this time around. The only thing a Presidential run can do for him at this point is tarnish his legacy.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        What legacy would that be? Plagiarism? Politicizing the Supreme Court nominee hearing process? Terrible performances in running for President? Gaffs galore that he gets away with because he is a Democrat? Using political pressure to steer Ukrainian money to his son’s company? Swimming nude in front of female secret service officers? A little too “handy” with females and children?

        The only positive thing about him is he owns a C2 Corvette – you know one of those gas guzzlers that contributes to global warming.

        Reply
  5. AvatarShortest Circuit

    Michelle Obama on the grounds of that she was in the White House for 8 years, so she should’ve picked up something? Same reporters would ask the question – rightly – if Joe would trust his house’s plumbing to the plumber’s wife? I mean she’s seen the tools, surely.

    Reply
  6. AvatarStephen

    I really dislike men who sexually annoy women (or men) just trying to do their job. I was hoping that the ride-sharing story was at least partially fiction, but I fear it is not.

    The one thing I liked about the ride sharing services is that should help break the taxi monopoly, total collusion between the city government and the medallion holders. Taxi services screwed the little guy as bad as ride sharing

    Reply
    • AvatarDR Smith

      Stephen – tell that to the young women who got in the wrong car for her Uber and ended up dead…there is a value to having your transportation service fully vetted and licensed.

      Reply
      • AvatarStephen

        Lord, that was horrible. My heart goes out to her parents. I can’t imagine, and I have children in here age range.

        My problem is the crony capitalism involved in million dollar taxi medallions, and that a driver started his shift deep in hock for the car rental. Taxi driving used to be a way for a poor person to make some money. Prior to Uber/Lyft, I tried to get the local city to double the amount of medallions. Wasn’t going to happen. Can’t have your buddies investment in in city protected medallions drop in value.

        Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          My hometown had a taxi-driving sexual-sadist serial killer named Jesse Matthew Jr. a few years back. It was barely newsworthy, although more newsworthy than a muslim killing his Planned-Parenthood-volunteering wife in 2017. If the MSM is telling you to care about a crime, it is to distract from something worse that they’re enabling..

          Reply
  7. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    Politics has become an increasingly partisan blood sport in the last 20-30 years. It’s devolved to a point of “you’re either with us or against us” contest of the lunatic fringe on both sides of the aisle. As part of a most reviled demographic; white, male, heterosexual, gearhead, boomer, fiscal conservative that also doesn’t care who you sleep with, there really isn’t a place for me in either party. And given the power that both sides wield in the various media outlets, I don’t see any hope for a third party candidate. Doesn’t matter whether they label themselves, Libertarian, Working Folks Party, or Bug Eyed Bullfrog Party, they would only be an irritant to the 2 major party’s that will be ground into a pulp if they dare mount a serious challenge. I would say that Trump was a bit of an outlier in that he seemed to be equally despised by traditional Republicans and all Democrats. Is he re-electable? Probably. He has gone back on some things he ran on, but unless he drops the ball completely there is a good chance he will be, given who the opposition is to date.

    You had me going for a bit on the C-8 piece. I thought, “well, Ford dropped a V-6 into the GT, so anything is possible I guess”. When it got the bit about not having union help to carry away the bags of old XFE badges, is where I started to question it. Then I remembered what day it was, and it fell into place. Good one, you almost had me. 🙂

    Reply
    • AvatarMike

      I’m part of your demographic, too. I was registered as a Libertarian. A few weeks ago I received a letter informing me that the Libertarian party failed to maintain its standing in my state (or something to that effect) and would I prefer to chose a new party affiliation.

      Since I live in a “closed primaries” state, not being a member of either Team Red or Team Blue already meant I was unable to vote meaningfully in any of the primaries.

      Democracy!

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        “Democracy!”

        Thats the problem. Our system was NOT designed to be a democracy, but a constitutional republic, governed by laws. As the old saying goes; democracy is 2 wolves and 1 lamb voting what to have for dinner.

        I grew weary of politics about 20 years ago after seeing it from the inside as a lobbyist. If the general population could see what goes on in the “back rooms”, most would be demanding that most politicians have their head placed on a pointed stick and paraded around town.

        I have increasingly become one of those people that would like to see that.

        Reply
  8. Avatar-Nate

    So then ;

    Driving a taxi cab isn’t all fun and giggles like it was shown to be on T.V. those many years ago ? .

    Who knew ? .

    Fixing old cabs was bad enough ~ driving one would be the end .

    -Nate

    Reply
  9. Avatar-Nate

    OBTW : if trump doesn’t get re elected I’ll be surprised, the dnc has been snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for a long time now, they’re all idiots .

    Being a Conservative these days isn’t easy but it beats being a bum .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

      ” beats being a bum.”

      I sometimes wonder about that. Am I happier these days than when my possessions consisted of a car, a motorcycle, 3 guns and a rented room (3 months post divorce)? Maybe being possessionless is a better way to go.

      But then I think; “I’ve got used to certain luxuries in life”. Electric lights, waterproof shelter and a hot meal when I want it, are kinda hard to give up.

      Guess I’ll stick with what I have. For now at least.

      Reply
  10. AvatarRick T.

    All this goes out the window when the number of states giving their electoral votes to the national popular winner. Prepare to split the country up or be ruled by California, New York, and Illinois.

    Reply
    • AvatarDR Smith

      This – what RickT says. Only a matter of time, then their will either be total capitulation with Universal Living Wage, medicade & robots for all, and the fall & collapse of the U. S. as a country/empire like Rome to become a pawn of Russia or China, like the Castle on the Hill TV series, and un-easy truce where a few Big States will set tone/tenor for country and basically be ruling city/states (i.e, few Western States will become part of California, the Midwest states like Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana will become part of Illinois, and a few east coasts states will become par of New York), but a few other states will be allowed to exist as quasi independent states within the US, or a situation like ##1 0r 2 but splinter groups will evolve into hidden and/or open armed opposition wrecking havoc for the city states/new rulers which could denigrate into full blown civil war Syria style.

      Either way, none of the three alternatives rock my world….but at this point I don’t see any alternative, as the old ways and old narratives are breaking down much faster than anyone imaged. .

      Reply
    • AvatarCliffG

      Ah, generals fighting the last war. If sometime in June 2020 polls indicate that DT might actually win the popular vote, expect all those states that decided to make their own voters irrelevant will quickly hold a special session to retract that bit of foolishness. Do you really think that blue Colorado will donate their electoral votes to DT because he won the national popular vote by 50,000?

      Reply
  11. AvatarRasputin

    ” … offer the job to… Michelle Obama.”

    Mr. Baruth, you certainly are one sly rabble-rouser. Good on ya, mate.

    Reply
  12. AvatarPanzer

    I just spent about 6 months either side of new year trying to make Uber work full time, so your article hit the nail on the head for me.
    Thankfully I never has any customers remotely as bad as your friend and my car didn’t skip a beat. But still. Even if there are no major unscheduled repairs, the scheduled maintenance alone will wipe out whatever meager profit you make, let alone the depreciation.
    In the end, i’m approx. 4400 USD in debt, most of which is income tax that I have to pay by next year and some of which is credit card debt because of living costs when I wasn’t making any profit..
    So it’s basically two years of work to buy the car outright down the drain.. but what can you do?

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      There’s a reason that cab companies like Yellow used the same kind of car for years, be it Checker or Crown Vics. And why they could be washed out with a pressure washer. They built up their own bone yards of part cars and in the Crown Vics case could always buy ex police cars.

      You could also hire ‘meh’ mechanics years ago pre-computers when all you had was 1 kind of car over and over and over……. And even then they cut their operations down to the bone.

      Reply
  13. Avatarhank chinaski

    Hey, changing font color is important too!
    This bit is a two-fer, also perfectly mimicking the ‘when a girl wants to take a picture of something’ meme.

    Reply
  14. AvatarJeff

    The c8 article was gold. If that is the direction you are taking Hagerty I’m in. I’d even pay for it. High praise from a millennial.

    Reply
  15. AvatarPatrick King

    Normally I read everything on this blog and occasionally comment but I’ve been in jail so I’m just caching up.

    Uncle Joe was interviewed a while back by CD, RT or one of those rags and talked about driving his brother-in-law’’s Cadillac CTS-V six-speed station wagon on the quarter mile under Secret Service protection. While he was VP!

    Not endorsing him for the top job but isn’t that better than Bill Clinton with his 6-cylinder, automatic Mustang?

    Even Barack lamented on NPR one day how his newfound fame prevented from taking Dodge Charger to the car wash every Saturday morning.

    Has the Donald ever seen the inside of a car wash?

    Seriously?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      You know there’s a photo out there of Donald, with his Diablo, at a car wash, right? 🙂

      Reply

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