Thursday 23 May 2013


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford having fun
To quote Scott Fitzgerald: the rich are different from you and me. So are politicians. And here is what makes them different.

Multiple residences. Senator Mike Duffy has two residences, a place in the city and another one in the country. So do you? Yes, but can you charge a per diem and travel expenses for whichever one is farthest from your place of work? Duffy did, until somebody clarified the rules for him. You can only charge if Ottawa isn’t your primary place of residence. Well, what can I say? Politicians have their own ideas about

Geography. For example, Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house. I bet you can’t duplicate that. Don Quayle loves California because he “practically grew up in Phoenix”. Apparently the border between California and Arizona doesn’t exist for him.  And according to, George W. Bush doesn’t go in for continents.  Africa is simply “a nation that suffers from incredible disease”.  

Politicians are also special when it comes to
Videos.  Someone made a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford doing things he shouldn’t be doing. So what? Lots of people put pictures of questionable activities on their Facebook page. Yes, but are they worth $200,000? Because that’s how much the photographers expect to get for the Ford video even though the quality stinks.  See, that’s the difference between politicians and ordinary jerks like you and me. Generally speaking, it’s best not to incriminate yourself. So stay away from

Confessions. Unless you are a politician, that is. In that case confessions might get you votes. That’s why Christine Quinn, candidate for NY mayor, confessed she once had an alcohol problem. And New Jersey governor James “Chris” Christie confessed that he had lap-band surgery. Dominique Strauss Kahn on the other hand refused to confess that he forced himself on a hotel maid. Not sure how that works. Do only politicians with the syllable “Christ” in their name benefit from a confession? Or does it have to involve a medical intervention? For, example, if Strauss Kahn had lap-band surgery somewhere further down in his lap, around the testicles or so, would confession have worked to his advantage?  

But back to Senator Duffy. The most amazing things happen to politicians, in fact, I would go as far as calling them
Miracles. When Duffy was told he had to pay back $90,000 for inappropriate expense claims, the chief of the PMO miraculously came to his help and cut him a cheque for that amount. He said he was just being friendly. Do you and I have friends like that?

The political miracles started in 1972, with Richard Nixon.  An 18 minute gap miraculously appeared on a tape in which he was talking about the Watergate break-in.
Similarly, in 2009 Carolina governor Mark Sanford hiked the Appalachian trail and miraculously disappeared. Next, he found himself miraculously in Buenos Aires, consorting with a woman friend.
Obama can only lay claim to an almost-miracle. Until 2013, his administration was miraculously scandal-free. You and I can go scandal-free all our lives, but American presidents can’t, statistically speaking.  I began to harbour suspicions about Obama. Maybe he was only pretending to be a politician. But no, he finally came up with his very own IRS and AP scandals. So the statistics are valid, and Obama is a politician.  Whew!


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