Relatable Politicians

There was a photo today of German Chancellor Angela Merkel grocery shopping in Berlin. We have few politicians who would be seen at a grocery store. Trump once said you need an ID to use one. Or, if you were not working, the grocery store would “work with you” so you could have food.

Dick Nixon was a crook. But even he knew how to appeal to people. He was able to convince Americans that he was really one of them.

First of all, we’ve got a house in Washington, which cost 41,000 dollars and on which we owe 20,000 dollars. We have a house in Whittier, California which cost 13,000 dollars and on which we owe 3000 dollars. My folks are living there at the present time. I have just 4000 dollars in life insurance, plus my GI policy which I’ve never been able to convert, and which will run out in two years. I have no life insurance whatever on Pat. I have no life insurance on our two youngsters, Tricia and Julie. I own a 1950 Oldsmobile car. We have our furniture. We have no stocks and bonds of any type. We have no interest of any kind, direct or indirect, in any business. Now, that’s what we have. What do we owe?

Well in addition to the mortgage, the 20,000 dollar mortgage on the house in Washington, the 10,000 dollar one on the house in Whittier, I owe 4500 dollars to the Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C., with interest 4 and 1/2 percent. I owe 3500 dollars to my parents, and the interest on that loan, which I pay regularly, because it’s the part of the savings they made through the years they were working so hard — I pay regularly 4 percent interest. And then I have a 500 dollar loan, which I have on my life insurance.

Well, that’s about it. That’s what we have. And that’s what we owe. It isn’t very much. But Pat and I have the satisfaction that every dime that we’ve got is honestly ours. I should say this, that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her she’d look good in anything.

One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they’ll probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted. And our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it ‘Checkers.’ And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.

He gave that speech, and it inspired Americans to call in and say they wanted him kept on the Republican ticket.

It’s been a long time since a politician could talk like that. Jimmy could, with maybe more sincerity.

Still, I miss the days when politicians could boast of owing money on their mortgage, and their wives having only a simple cloth coat.