Candidates at the Helm
If you could choose a
boat for each of the U.S. presidential candidates
which type of boat would you choose for him or her?
I’ve always tilted toward
presidents who, in my mind’s eye, are in a boat.
George Washington crossing the frigid Delaware with
his soldiers in the dead of night makes him a star
forever in my imagination. Teddy Roosevelt paddling
a canoe down racing rivers is a boating hero, too.
FDR planning D Day on the
USS Sequoia is locked in my memory. JFK racing his
PT109 is also. I remember seeing a picture in the
newspaper of George Herbert Walker Bush holding up a
striped bass caught from his Cigarette. I prefer to
picture him as a naval aviator.
So what kinds of boats do
you see our current candidates piloting, and does it
look like they know what they are doing at the helm?
I know that at least two
really are boaters. Mitt Romney and his sons were
applauded a few years ago for jumping on their
personal watercraft vessels and racing to the rescue
of a family whose boat had swamped. I read that John
Edwards, who was about to become John Kerry’s
running mate, ran aground at night in his boat with
a Kerry advisor aboard.
But other than that, what
we see is what we get, and we gotta guess.
I know Sen. John McCain
was in the U.S. Navy but he flew a fighter jet. Now
in my mind he pilots a classic single engine
trawler, his labor of love. Its name is
Here comes a go-fast
Scarab, black with red flames painted along the
hull. There goes Rudy Giuliani. Was that a big gold
chain around his neck or a gold necktie? This boat
is called Flame Out.
Mike Huckabee has invited friends for a Sunday ride
in his pontoon boat. They are tooling around Greer's
Ferry Lake on a hot, Arkansas day, cooling off with
I see Romney at the helm
of a classic yacht with lots of varnished teak and
polished brass. He buys his crew matching polo
shirts embroidered with the name of the boat. The
name on the stern is Capital Management.
Cradles and davits hold a bevy of PWCs plus an
inboard ski boat. All ready to launch and run on a
I gather that John
Edwards was able to tilt the lower unit up and power
his boat off of that Carolina low country mud flat.
The picture is kind of fuzzy but I think it’s a
walkaround cuddy. The name on the side is not clear.
Something like Class Warfare.
Barack Obama is in a
Harvard rowing scull with a collegiate crew in
matching shorts and polo shirts with cable-knit
letter sweaters tied preppie style around their
Hillary Clinton has hired
a captain and a crew to take her here and there in a
no-wood-whatsoever fiberglass motoryacht. Intercoms
connect two master staterooms, one marked “Hill” and
the other “Bill.”
I can’t help it. Ron Paul
is rowing a dinghy with one oar. Dennis Kucinich is
drifting in the main channel in an inflatable that’s
losing air and he’s screaming Look at me! Look
George Washington is
still my captain.