Sunday, August 4, 2013

765. Guess who's coming to dinner!

The question was asked on Facebook by a Kentucky political site, "Which politician would you wish to have dinner with and why?"  I offered the following lengthy answer, or four answers, living and deceased for both Kentucky and the Republic.

Here are the responses.

National (deceased) - John Hay, secretary and biographer to Lincoln, later US Ambassador to Great Britain, and later US Secretary of State under McKinley and Roosevelt, and a native of Salem, Indiana.

Kentucky (deceased) - James Wilkinson, American soldier and statesman in the mid to late 1700s in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. Laid out and named the streets in Frankfort, was involved in a scandal with Spain over Kentucky and access to the Mississippi River, friend of presidents and vice presidents including the notorious Aaron Burr. Teddy Roosevelt, 65 years after his death, said of him, "In all our history, there is no more despicable character." He is buried in Mexico City.

National (living) - George H. W. Bush, who had the best-ever resume upon running for the White House - not that I voted for him (I didn't), had served under a known traitor (Iran-Contra) and early-on recognized that Trickle Down was, as he called it, voodoo economics. He lived through the transformations of both political parties, saw his sons elected governors of two different states and one elected president, and was himself the son of a US Senator. And he wears cool socks in his old age.

Kentucky (living) - this one is difficult. I remember my conversation with the late Frank Burke, mayor and congressman, just before his passing on the 20th century political history of Louisville which was fascinating. That would have been my answer. So my answer may need to come from a politically related person and not a politician. In that respect, I would turn to journalism and narrow my choices to Al Smith or David Hawpe. Hawpe and I are friends so that can be arranged. That leaves Al Smith as my answer.

What are your thoughts?

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.