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Silver Threads: Odds and ends in life and politics

Bettye Anding

Bettye Anding

Years ago, when I was Angus Lind’s editor, he erupted in frustration when I demanded to know why his column hadn’t yet been turned in. ”Do you know how hard it is to write a column three times a week?!” he moaned. I told him he was lucky he wasn’t Betty Guillaud. Or Nell Nolan.

Editors can be unfeeling; I just hope mine is content with notes on the hodgepodge of things I’ve been thinking about, worrying about and wondering about lately. And have decided to turn into a column because even just writing a weekly one has drained me of ideas.
Not being George Will or Maureen Dowd or even Cal Thomas, I’ve steered away from the subject of politics, but this race for the Republican presidential nomination does beat all, doesn’t it? And I can’t resist.
A bit of background first: I don’t believe that I registered and voted for president in 1956, which was the year I was eligible to. Dwight Eisenhower was running for his second term in office and I’d probably have gone for him, but — well — I was 21 and beginning my first newspaper job out of college, and Ike was gonna win anyway. I made it to the polls for the next big election and by then I was newly married to a Republican, so you figure it out.
This year’s race to be nominated for president is one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen, and not for any good reasons. While several of the Republican candidates are good, they’re having their limelight seized by a man who wouldn’t know what to do if he were a PTA president. On the other side, we’re waiting for another Clinton shoe to drop and it’s getting boring. But you know what? I can’t resist keeping up with it all. Here are some of the questions I’d like to hear the candidates answer, if they will, and some random observations:
— What would Donald Trump do if he had to go visiting with Germany’s Angela Merkel? Would he bite his tongue and not call her a bimbo or a fat slob? Would he treat a European woman reporter the same way he treats Megyn Kelly? Would he throw an Islamic reporter out of a news conference for daring to ask a question? And then claim the man was yelling and screaming?
— Does Trump plan to get a haircut at anytime during this campaign?  I just realized that we have the exact same hairdo and it’s unnerving. I think mine çame first: There’s a photo online of Trump and former wife, Ivana, in which his hairline is visible just below an upstanding row of dark hair. He should go back to that ‘do. That he still has a hairline in vaguely the same place was revealed when he pulled his bangs back at a press conference.
— What in the world is Bobby Jindal planning?
— If George W.H. Bush is president No. 41, and Bill Clinton is 42, and George W. Bush is 43, and Barrack Obama is 44, will Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton be 45 or 46, and will Michele Obama be 47? And what about Chelsea and the Bush twins and the Obama girls?
— If she gets the nomination and then the Oval Office, will Hillary hire an intern?
— What about the other candidates? Will one of the background crowd win? Rubio, Cruz? Will Vice-President Biden run?
Tune in tomorrow, folks, for “As the Political Wheel Turns.”
And meanwhile, just because I care:
— Will Mayor Mitch Landrieu be put under weekend house arrest? Will he miss the Voodoo Fest? Who will get his tickets to the Saints’ first home game?

Bettye Anding is a former editor of the Living section of The Times Picayune, for which she wrote “Silver Threads” until her retirement. Email comments to her at [email protected]