Middle Muddle; GOP and Texas; Quote of the Week

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Good morning, it’s Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, the day of the week when I pass along a quotation intended to be uplifting or thought-provoking.

On this date in 1948 Babe Ruth passed away. Twenty-nine years later, we lost Elvis. Coincidence? San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Scott Ostler thinks not, or at least he didn’t a couple of decades ago. I think he was on to something, as I’ll explain in a moment. First, I’d point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

* * *

Hey, Dems -- If You Tank Biden, Who Else Wins the Middle? A.B. Stoddard explains the risks of softening support for the former veep.

Centrist’s Dead-End: Hickenlooper Quits White House Bid. Phil Wegmann has the story.

How Do You Make Republicans Laugh About Texas? Myra Adams revisits an old joke about the Lone Star State ever becoming a battleground, which may not strike the GOP as very funny these days.

Investing for the Pacific Century. In RealClearWorld, Naz El-Khatib and Abby Bard offer some foreign policy advice to Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.

Why Alt Investments Should Be Part of a Retirement Portfolio. In RealClearMarkets, Steven Brod lays out a strategy to ensure retirees don’t outlive their money.

Lay Catholics Must Be Attentive to Financial Abuse. In RealClearReligion, Tim Busch writes that a West Virginia bishop’s extravagant expenditures and lack of accountability should be a cautionary tale for other dioceses.

* * *

By the time Elvis Presley was nicknamed “Elvis the Pelvis,” the Babe had been gone for nearly eight years. But you don’t have to be an aficionado of “launch angle” or other annoying modern baseball jargon to know that Babe Ruth hit all those home runs with a powerful uppercut swing supplemented by shifting his weight perfectly as his bat met the ball.

Or, as Scott Ostler mused in a lovely, if puckish, 1997 Sports Illustrated essay: “Was there some kind of psychic-spiritual link between the two men who changed our world by swinging their hips just so?” The writer went on in this way for a while, pointing out similarities between the Babe and the King: their mutual rise from hardscrabble childhoods to international royalty; their prodigious talent, rapacious appetites, and incandescent charisma. And how each would punctuate a sublime performance with a knowing wink.

Ostler ended his column this way:

“Proposed: a holiday, Babe 'n' Elvis Day, August 16. The difference between this and the normal dead-guy holiday would be that instead of taking the day off, everyone would take the day on. Swing from the heels, sing from the heart, live larger, dream bigger, eat more, sleep less, break new ground, break old rules, break a record, cut a record, cut a swath. And as you’re trotting around third or leaving the building, don’t forget the wink.”

And there’s your quote of the week. 

Carl M. Cannon  
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
[email protected]

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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