The Plank

Life Imitating The Onion, Part Xxxiv


Or at least journalism imitating The Onion... The authors of the WaPo's Gerald Ford obituary provide us with some unintentional comedy:

It was widely assumed that Ford had doomed his political career. By January 1975, his approval rating had plummeted to 36 percent. Not even two assassination attempts, both in California in 1975, generated significant popular support [emphasis added].

The line brought to mind The Onion's 2001 masterpiece, Clinton Vaguely Disappointed By Lack of Assassination Attempts. Some highlights:

Reflecting on his presidency Monday, Bill Clinton expressed a "strange sense of disappointment" over the lack of dramatic attempts on his life.
"All the great ones had someone take a crack at them," Clinton said. "Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Kennedy--even Reagan. An assassination attempt would have really elevated my status in the pantheon of presidents." ...
"He'd never tell you this himself, but when it didn't happen in his last few months in office, he was inconsolable," former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta said. "He just kept staring out the windows, first at that little hill behind the Oval Office, then at the hedge in the Rose Garden, as if willing a lone gunman to appear. Saddest thing you ever saw."
Podesta said Clinton had high hopes for a Nov. 14, 2000, visit to San Diego, a Republican-dominated city with a high number of ex-Marines. ...


--Noam Scheiber

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