Temas Especiales

17 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

When the knives are really sharp

While our local elections campaigns begun to look like an unpolished Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera they haven’t yet produced any real...

While our local elections campaigns begun to look like an unpolished Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera they haven’t yet produced any really memorable word exchanges. If they exist, they are buried beneath all the mud that’s being thrown around, and for sure they are unlikely to match the stiletto thrusts being exchanged in the US political milieu.

Take for example the recent parrying between Karl Rove, the former rainmaker for President George Bush II , and current Vice President Joe Biden. Rove, who probably wrote the book on dirty tricks, called Biden a “blowhard” and a “liar” in response to some of the vice president’s comments about the Bush administration. "He’s a serial exaggerator. If I was being unkind I would say he’s a liar, but it’s a habit he ought to drop,” Rove said on FOX News. "You should not exaggerate and lie like this when you are the vice president of the United States.”

Rove's comments are the harshest and most pointed yet in an ongoing feud between Biden and Bush administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney.

The former Bush adviser was referring to Biden’s comments on CNN that he and President George W. Bush once had an exchange in the Oval Office, where Bush said, "Well, Joe.. I'm a leader,” and Biden responded: “Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one is following.” "It didn't happen," Rove said. "It's his imagination.”

FOLLOWERS. And who is “following” either candidate and their running mates in the Panamanian presidential election campaign? Do people even remember who their running mates are? While Ricardo Martinelli and Balbina Herrere are in a bidding war over who will offer most to jubilados (retirees and pensioners) other issues are hidden in the smoke clouds from verbal gunshots. Increasing numbers of voters appear to be disillusioned with both presidential candidates, stating their voting preferences on who they dislike the least. Too late alas for a knight in shining armor to ride in to save the day. And five years is a long time to figure out if we made the wrong choice.

LITERARY SCENE. On a less controversial note, I am happy to record that columnist Phil Edmondston ’s latest Lemon-Aid book, now on sale in Canada, has made the Best Seller list of The Globe And Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. He modestly describes the book’s success to the number of copies bought for burning by those outraged at his knocking of European cars (one of which has just been voted car of the year). While I was checking the Globe I came across a review of a book by my former tennis double’s partner, Isadore Sharp , the founder of the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain. The book is, of course, about how he built the empire starting with a small motel, on Jarvis Street, Toronto, which housed a Canadian Broadcasting Company studio and an excellent restaurant where we would often eat after hitting the balls around in a local indoor court. His enthusiasm for the game was so strong, that he added a covered court to the facilities at the Inn on the Park, where he had his hotel chain headquarters.

He is an immensely modest man, who in his younger days worked as a bricklayer in his father’s housing business, and whose wife Rosie once confessed to me that she had never learned to ice skate because her parents couldn’t afford to buy her the blades. The thorn of the week goes to the customer at a restaurant frequented by many of the country’s movers and shakers. After sipping the water from her glass, she walked over to the waiter’s stand, and y poured it into one of the jugs to be used to refill other customers’ glasses. l