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Monday, November 07, 2016

Unexpected Comfort in Maureen Dowd's The Year of Voting Dangerously

Opening caveat: I have not read very far into Maureen Dowd's collection of essays, The Year of Voting Dangerously. But I have already found not only the expected humor and trenchant observations, but unexpected political balance; and, more important on this Monday before Election Day, unexpected comfort.

That comfort: Dowd's reminder that "even though we spend years exploring every aspects of presidential candidates . . . we can never really know what kind of president they will be." Dowd quotes Harry Truman in support of this view, and Truman (though a relatively unexplored VP candidate before FDR's death in office) should know.

Dowd runs through some recent presidents and presidential advisers whose resumes full of experience did not prevent them from making what she views as disastrous blunders. And she closes the introduction to this volume with what I believe should become our secular national prayer:

"[W]e must hope that the worst of the job brings out the best in our next president."

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