In September 1980, I arrived in Washington DC from Oxford, England to fulfil a lecturing assignment at Georgetown University.
My shared reputation ( with my creation, Bertie Ramsbottom ) as a business verse satirist seemed to have preceded me; but I was totally unprepared for our stumble into transatlantic politics. Though I probably should have known that a nation versed in Archy and Mehitabel ( a literary cockroach and alley-cat reincarnation of Cleopatra* respectively ) would have little difficulty with an ovine political commentator.
After an impromptu reading to Washington ‘staffers’, academics and media people of some private comments I’d scribbled on the current 1980 Presidential Campaign (Messrs Carter and Reagan) the then DC Editor of National Public Radio (Steve Reiner) approached me with a request to broadcast some.
These were picked up by NBC, the Press, and led to a series of live readings (National Press Club ,Washington DC, the JF Kennedy School of Politics at Harvard, and other locations around DC, New York and Boston ).I was obliged to write throughout the rest of the campaign and the pieces came together as ” The Making of a President”. Friends here and in the US have apparently dusted them off for subsequent campaigns and suggested I reissue and update them since, candidates’names apart, little else seems to change.
Certainly, on the key issue of Economics, I am told by distinguished experts that my 1980 ‘Campaign Guide to Economics’ remains remarkably valid for 2012.
These are a few samples, as further proof that political life also goes round in circles …
( from ” The Making of a President” )
* Don Marquis ‘Archy’s Life of Mehitabel’.