I’ve always been an enthusiastic follower of American Presidential elections. I remember the night Barry Goldwater was defeated, and the civilised world breathed a huge sigh of relief. I remember Richard Nixon, with his Joker-like face, flinging his arms wide in what looked suspiciously like a crucifixion. I follow American politics because they are the people with the big stick.
On the way I’ve made a small collection of odd names. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being rude, but what is it with American names ? Particularly American politicians ? They tend to be short and snappy, easy on the tongue, like Jo Biden, Mitt Romney ( Mitt ?) but some do fall over the edge of the waterfall and end up in the maelstrom beneath.Let’s look at two political journos for a start.
Charles Krauthammer for instance. Charles Krauthammer ? Why do I want to put “ Nazi Smasher” after his name. It’s so …out there…so LOUD.
And what about Wolf Blitzer ? Wolf ? If he’d been born in England he would have been called Derek, or Nigel. Imagine some small boy knocks on the Blitzer front door- “ Excuse me, Mrs Blitzer, is your Wolf coming out to play?”
And after them comes a covey of representatives – Zach Wamp for instance- Half Man Half Sound Effect…Zach ! Wamp ! And after him comes Bart Stupack ( provides quality frozen meats) …then Michael Crapo…you wouldn’t would you..you just wouldn’t ,and the unfortunately deep voiced Mike Gravel.
We won’t even mention Randy Bumgardener.
But I confess, we have our own wierd names too. A Tory MP Jacob-Rees Mogg ( notice the double barrel name,) so old fashioned that his peers call him The Member for the Eighteenth Century, has named his latest child….wait for it….
Alfred Wulfric Leyson Pius Rees- Mogg.
Poor kid. Never mind. By the time he’s fifteen his mates will be shouting “ Oi ! Moggsy ! Are you comin’ to the footie tonight ?”