Right You Are, Pat Buchanan
Jude Wanniski
June 28, 1999


Memo To: Pat Buchanan
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The 2000 Campaign

Like the boy who looks up and says the emperor has no clothes, you spoke up yesterday on "Meet the Press" about George W. Bush. He is a nice boy. He has had four unremarkable years as governor of Texas. But he has no achievements, no wisdom, no sagacity. For goodness sakes. It was good of you to remind Tim Russert that you were 85 points behind Old Man Bush when you took him on in 1996 for breaking his campaign pledge on taxes. The idea is downright silly that young Bush, who Molly Ivins calls "Shrub," will be able to skip through the GOP primaries on the way to his coronation as President. The young man is not ready for the job, and I frankly am amazed that he thinks he is. If you put him under, on sodium pentothal, I think he might tell us straight out that he needs to take a few more night courses on "How to Be President of the United States and leader of the Entire World." As it is, he can't make up for all the time he wasted when he should have been trying to figure out what makes the world go around. Did you see Jesse Ventura on ABC's This Week with Sam & Cokie? As tough a cookie as he is, I think you could see him get green around the gills even talking about going from governor of Minnesota to Commander-in-Chief in one giant leap. He said he might be up to the Veep job if Colin Powell were heading the reform Party ticket next year.

Something tells me, though, that you really don't want to be President yourself, Pat, but are going through the motions to make a difference in the election's outcome. I could appreciate you telling Russert that you disagree completely and totally with W on the Kosovo War, and that you would order all U.S. troops home from Bosnia and Kosovo as soon as you are inaugurated. But why did you then have to say you would have these troops take up positions along our border with Mexico? It was a cold slap in the face to your audience, a reminder that your views are not as subtle as they seem, but stem from the nationalist paradigm. Too bad. I agree with 80% of what you and your campaign are about. But the go-it-alone-in-the-world battlecry ain't what Mr. Lincoln had in mind when we said we were the last, best hope for mankind.

Still, Pat, I'm glad you are in the race, saying what you think straight out.