Monday, January 16, 2006

In Memoriam: President David Palmer, 1941-2006

An assassin's bullet took the life of former President David Palmer yesterday. Palmer was 55.

Like Senator Bill Bradley a basketball star at Princeton University and the NBA, Palmer served two terms as a congressman and one as a senator before being elected to the presidency. He served one term, as personal scandals undermined his campaign for reelection.

Palmer's political career was distinguished by his extraordinary level of integrity and honesty with the public. Likewise, he was noted for decisive leadership and exceptional courage in times of crisis. Facing down an assassination attempt during the California primary in his first presidential campaign, he later led the country through two serious terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction.

It was his personal life that proved his undoing, however. Estranged from his wife, Sherry, during his first presidential campaign, he was later undermined by her politically. His refusal to cover up his wife's activities, beginning with her attempt to hush up their son's involvement in the death of a man accused of raping their daughter, was seen by many as his greatest demonstration of integrity. Others, however, questioned whether a man with such a chaotic household could lead a nation.

Those who knew him personally often commented on Palmer's strength of character. Loyal and warm toward associates, he could nevertheless be steely in his determination. The "Palmer stare"--eyes set, nostrils flared, mouth firm--was legendary.

Out of office, Palmer served as a consultant to the administration of President Logan. He supplemented his income by serving as spokesman for Allstate Insurance.

He is survived by a son, a daughter, and one brother.

Speculation is that his assassination was part of an elaborate plot to derail the antiterrorism pact to be signed yesterday between President Logan and the Russian government. Some also wonder whether the Serbian radicals who sought to assassinate him during his first presidential campaign are somehow involved.

Ironically enough, on the same day of Palmer's death, speculation abounds as to the possibility of America's first real African-American president. Contrarian pundit and jazz critic Stanley Crouch discusses the possibilities of a run by Condi Rice, recently remarked by the first lady as an excellent presidential prospect. Rice, however, is reported by news services as again denying that she has any interest in the job.

Those interested in changing party politics forever may want to check out this site.

12 comments:

raymond said...

A moving tribute to a memorable man. One wonders if it would ever be possible to elect a man of such character and integrity in real life.

Guy named Courtney said...

Is there really a man of that integrity in any serious politcal power?

Curtis said...

You forgot to add to his resume that he had a short stint with the Cleveland Indians (Pedro Cerano in Major League) the curve gave him some problems but after sacrificing a bucket of KFC he ended up doing well.

CB in CA said...

Wasn't Bill Clinton our first Black president? Indeed, could David Palmer BE Bill Clinton? Think about it...ambitious wife, personal scandal, and the all the integrity and respectability that Hollywood-types attribute to B.C.

P.S. Have we ever seen anyone more Nixon-like than our new President Logan? I'm glad we have Jack Bauer to fix all the problems he's going to cause.

steve-o said...

Who will pay for funeral expenses: the US Government or All-State?

Calus The Great said...

If Palmer was only 55, then he was born in 1951, not 1941.

Alex Diaz said...

Palmer was also runner up for the voice of Darth Vader in Episode III... truly, a great loss.

happily hensel said...

What a way to ruin a perfectly good blog page. Maybe I'll stick to just taking your classes instead of listening to your ramblings and obession with TV. I'm also starting the "Money for SWNID's cable" fund.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

To calus the great I reply that Palmer's age, like the age of any TV character, must be computed with consideration of commercial time. The proportion is roughly 1:6. Hence, it takes 65 years for a TV character to be 55.

Robb said...

Palmer who?

JB in CA said...

So where do you get one of these TVs that spew commercials at you only one-sixth of the time? Mine regurgitates them at twice that rate.

JB in CA said...

And furthermore, who's in charge here, the parent or the child? Whatever happened to "Mind your own blog" and "Because I posted so?"