Saturday, November 08, 2008

Now that You Mention It

With the election over, the mentioning begins. The Washington pastime of mentioning various names for various jobs has come to Delaware.
Russell Baker first revealed the existence of the Great Mentioner back in 1963, so long ago that even Google can't pull up the original use of the phrase. (The New York Times charges for the privilege.) The next best thing to being asked to serve in high office is being mentioned.
The biggest prize for which one can be mentioned is Joe Biden's Senate seat. First to be mentioned is his son, Beau, who impressed the Democratic Convention with his stirring introduction of his father. But Beau is heading overseas for the next year with the National Guard, and had also promised to serve out his term as attorney general. Joe could hardly pull his son back from active duty to place him in the Senate, so Beau will have to wait.

I have read other names, but the only one I have heard mentioned is John Carney. Some of the names that have surfaced are so humdrum as to make me think that they were passed over by the Great Mentioner and had to settle for a furtive phone call to Ron Williams at the News Journal.
The soggy diehards at Return Day were wearing labels reading "Send JC to DC." I have never heard anyone of any position in the Democratic Party mention anyone but John, but I reckon that there are no more than three or four who know what how the deal will go down: Joe Biden, Ruth Ann Minner, Jack Markell and perhaps John Carney, if he gets the nod.
Biden offered a hint last month at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, when he said, "John, your best days are ahead, I guarantee it." What Biden meant by that, I don't know. The vice president elect hasn't said anything to me.
When talking to anyone else, I am inclined to be guided by the old rule that those who know, aren't talking, and those who are talking, don't know. Any mention in the national media should be discounted using the same rule.
The same could be said for guessing the identities of Jack Markell's appointees, though some are quicker to print rumors than I would. All I know is that Markell is announcing his transition team leadership on Monday.
I know first hand how flimsy the basis for mentioning can be. Last year Jason at DelawareLiberal misconstrued a passing comment from John Kowalko to mean that I was planning to run for office myself. Sadly, it turned out not to be true. But it's nice being mentioned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, I was hoping, not misconstruing.


5:05 PM, November 09, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home