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Easter Sunday, 4.11.04 Me, In Politics?

Yesterday, From my mother:

I love your articles on Clark and Condi and the one today...Dad said he wondered if you ever thought of going into politics -- not volunteering but for real.

Someone else suggested recently that I go into politics and I let the thought drift through my mind for 10 seconds before my good sense came back. I am the kindergarten girl who stood alone in the school playground day after day till my mother had to arrange a friend for me.

I still can't work a crowd.

I've heard Bill Clinton referred to as the quintessential politician. When he walks into a room, people go all a-tingle in spite of themselves. And he is energized by crowds of strangers. That is the opposite of me. Remember, the Dangling Woman is invisible unless she is wearing red lipstick. And crowds suck the energy right out of me.

But, you say, Dick Nixon was a social maladroit and he kept banging his head on the White House door till he finally got in. But Tricky Dick had something else going on -- the lust for power. He clawed his way to the top by any means necessary. He was driven by personal anger and resentments but was nobody's fool. He still knew how to ingratiate himself with well-connected power brokers. I am fueled by happy thoughts -- very low octane.

On the other hand, I like policy-making. I like strategy. And I believe strongly in good leadership, the kind where the leader actual believes she is there to serve the people.

But when I think of myself as part of a political movement, my mind does not rove to mainstream parties. Did you watch the Iowa caucuses? Democracy in action, but y-a-w-n. I'd be more like part of the Bolshevik revolution -- not the screaming rabble-rouser in whatever Red Square was called back then, but the unwashed girl in the back room writing tracts by candlelight and running them off on the mimeo machine. More Bill Safire than Dick Nixon.

Somewhere back in the early sixties, a St. Louis politico asked my father if he would consider running for an Alderman seat. And my father does know how to work a crowd. I wonder why he didn't run...

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