Tommy the Cork

cover of book: Tommy the Cork

I came across the column below awhile back, and was able to track it down this evening.  It has always seemed to me extremely dim witted to vote for the candidate and not the party.  People often say they do this as though it was some indication of their good judgement and virtue.   As a canny politician once told me, vote for the person whose party will push him (or her) in the right direction.  This is particularly true in those cases where you think all the candidates are bums.  Here is advice on how to pick a president from Tommy the Cork via Molly Ivins:

How to Pick a President
Molly Ivins |  September 24, 2004

This is the Tommy Corcoran column. Tommy the Cork, so dubbed by FDR, was a Washington wise man. His various biographers called him the ultimate insider, the super lawyer, and the master fixer. He came to Washington in 1926 to clerk for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and became a fixture, an almost institutional source of wisdom about American politics, before his death in 1981.

The Cork had a theory about how to choose a president. He always said it didn’t matter who was running, that it was unnecessary to pay any attention to them. What matters, he said, is the approximately 1,500 people the president brings to Washington with him, his appointments to the positions where people actually run things. The question to consider is which 1,500 people we get.