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Elliot: Some crickets & some surprises

BY BEAU ELLIOT | APRIL 14, 2015 5:00 AM

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In a major surprise, Hillary Clinton has jumped into the presidential race (though, technically, she actually jumped into the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president; details, details).

And it wasn’t much of a jump. People who couldn’t figure that Clinton was all-in (not to use a poker term or anything) must have been living in Plato’s proverbial cave, watching the shadows on the wall and thinking it was reality TV. (Well, maybe it was; reality TV is pretty much Greek to me.)

Or to put it another way that Iowans can immediately twig, Clinton’s officially entering the campaign is about as surprising as the Iowa football offense.

So why all the fuss, if not buzz? (And why are we so enthralled with buzz? Flies and bees buzz. Enough said.)

Well, it’s politics. And politics demands some drama (hello again, ancient Greeks), if not full-throat screaming melodrama (which is not at all mellow). Congress debating, say, tax reform or trade programs is not drama; it’s crickets. Crickets don’t buzz.

(Why all this emphasis on insects? you ask. Well, as E.O. Wilson has said, if all humans suddenly disappeared from the planet, Earth would be just fine. If all the insects suddenly disappeared, we’re in a whole world of trouble, to use the polite word.)

So it’s great that Clinton tossed her hat into the ring, as the saying goes (though I’ve never seen Clinton wear a hat, but then, I’m not the NSA). Let’s have a Clinton-Jeb Bush campaign, because that will be drama, even though it’s a rerun of sorts. House of Bush, House of Clinton and all that.

Meanwhile, in another major surprise, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., jumped or tossed his hat or whatever into the presidential race.

So now the Republican field, officially or unofficially, includes but is not limited to two dudes from Florida — Rubio and Bush — two guys from Texas — Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry — and a sometimes libertarian from Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul, who is determined not to be an also-Rand.

Rubio, the newest official entrant, is nothing if not Republican; he apparently stands for not raising the minimum wage, not keeping immigrant families from being separated, repealing Obamacare, and dismissing climate science as best he can.

Hmm. He also, in the past, seemed to have a bit of a problem remembering when his parents left Cuba.

For instance, on his Senate website on Oct. 21, 2011, according to the Tampa Bay Times, his family “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover” of Cuba.

He said this many times in the past, and that’s all well and good.

Except that his family left Cuba for the United States in 1956, when dictator Fulgencio Batista ran things in Cuba with the help of the Mafia and Castro was licking his wounds in Mexico.

Just a bit of a difference. Details, details.

So there’s our drama. The ancient Greeks would be proud of us.

Or maybe not. Maybe they’d just hear crickets, crickets and wonder why there are all these shadows on cave walls.


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