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Shake It, Jim

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Shake It, Jim

This must be a glorious time to be a Californian. The recall vote of Gray Davis’ government is right around the corner and there are more than 130 people running for his seat should he be ousted from office. That’s about 130 candidates more than in most elections. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a spectrum of candidates for any race, including student-body campaigns at just about any high school.

Back in my own high school days, anyone who had vexed acne had a shot at winning—except for the girls, of course, who intuitively knew back then to only run for vice-president. Naturally, they also had to be free of zits to win.

In the early 1970s, I ran and lost in my bid for presidency of Bingham High School. They told me I lost by only five votes, probably to make me feel better. I couldn’t figure it out because I had the senior girls on my side. The guy who beat me, Randy Tyson, was free of zits, just like me, but he had more muscles. Muscles are impressive to sophomore girls. I should have known better. But, Randy and I were great friends and in the end, I was happy he won, because I learned at a very early age that I could never be a good elected official. Not to mention that it hurts to lose.

Randy had some serious biceps back then, and I hear he still does. I remember going into his basement once where he showed me his workout tables and muscle magazines. Don’t get any ideas, we’re both straight as Kentucky whiskey. On the cover of one of those magazines was Randy’s newest idol, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Randy was ripped and would fare well in his share of muscle-man events, he was no Arnold. The Terminator could only have been in his early 20s then, but it was evident he had star quality written all over him. I just searched Google to get some information on “The Austrian Oak.” Instead, I found his nude pictures. Let’s just say his nickname is apropos, and I have no doubt that if he is remembered for those photos instead of as Conan, he wins by a landslide.

Such is the California gubernatorial race. Nude photos are no barrier to entry, nor is lack of political experience. Besides the boring, usual suspects (businesspeople, attorneys, government officials), the list of candidates includes pornographers, a professional golfer, a retired meat packer, a used-car salesman, a railroad brakeman, Gary Coleman and Gallagher, both of whom are no less qualified than anyone else, apparently.

Now, compare that to Utah. So far, our list includes no one of note outside the ingrained power structure. The Matheson family is in, as is the Huntsman clan. Marty Stephens is in, and so, it seems is politician for life, Jim Hansen, clearly in an effort to squash Stephens. And, that’s about that. You can forget about the rest of them. No color, no flair, no charisma, no chance in hell of Utah breaking from the status quo of mundane but well-connected male personalities manning the helm. In Utah, certain men were born to run—forever.

On the other hand, seeing Jim Hansen in the nude is not a great alternative, either. Olene, maybe, but not Jim.

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