Newsflash for unobservant and way-past-borderline-stupid people: Duke has itself a new president. Yes, someone cool enough to replace the intensely popular Nannerl Overholser Keohane, intelligent enough to run the University (not to mention use the word “phalanx” in conversation) and caring enough to live on campus (or at least within walking distance from West... the first president to do this in forty years).
But all that aside, I would like to chat a little bit about our soon-to-be-beloved president, Richard Brodhead. I have seen him speak three times—twice here on campus and once at Yale’s graduation last May. I could go on for a long time discussing Brodhead’s speeches, but I would be delaying the point, which, friends, is this: Brodhead should run for president. Of the United States. Of America. Think about it for a few minutes. Then again, if you have to think about it, my suggestion would be to go and watch the man speak. He’s intelligent, witty and just has an all-around magnetic aura. But I digress. Because it is currently too late for Brodhead to run for president in the upcoming election, I will explain why he should run in 2008.
First off, Brodhead is intelligent. Like way more intelligent than the normal someone who would be described as “intelligent.” As in he is genius. Just the mere thought of him in a debate with Bush is hilarious. It would be like watching Nader and Bush debate, only if Nader were one hundred times smarter and much funnier. Bush would look like a buffoon, as if he doesn’t already do that enough (“foreign-handed,” anyone?). Besides, would Brodhead have attacked Iraq on the mere assumption that they had weapons of mass destruction and were planning on using those presumed weapons to attack America? No. He would have made the intelligent decision to wait for the inspectors to finish their jobs, not pull them out before they made any conclusive findings. One would imagine that a Yale degree would come with some sense. Which brings me to my next point.
Brodhead would know never to resort to Bush’s Wag the Dog attack on Iraq to raise popularity ratings, not only because he is astute, but because he would already enjoy that popularity. He has a kind of Clintonian air around him: even if you are a complete stranger, suffer from being anti-social, have inexplicable tics and dream of making killer robots with lasers, Brodhead would put you at ease. He’s like your smart to the point of genius and funny to the point of I’m-going-to-wet-my-pants-so-please-stop-being-making-me-laugh uncle. The public would trust his intellect and ability to make rational choices.
Moving on. Although Brodhead does not have any political experience (at least none that I know of), he would still make a great president. In fact, his relative inexperience might work in his favor. His care for the well-being and interests of students would translate perfectly into caring for the individual as well as the entire American population. Furthermore, because he is accustomed to dealing with whiney students complaining about fringe issues (i.e. signing a petition against allowing a non-violent organization working toward a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to convene on campus), he would be able to adequately deal with interest groups. Finally, Brodhead’s lack of political experience would make him all the more genuine to the American public. Not only that, but the man knows how to dress, which is key for an effective presidency. Brodhead knows how to come in style, people, and that shows prowess.
In conclusion, Brodhead should run for president in 2008. America needs someone like him. I know that there is a lot that goes into being the president, but hey… I have faith in him. In any case, I want to finish with this: Brodhead can’t be the president beginning this year, and that’s tragic. But I suppose that the country’s loss is our gain, and the next best thing is for him to be Duke’s president. However, if I happen to see Brodhead’s name on the ballot in 2008, I wouldn’t give any of the candidates a second thought.
Matt Dearborn is a Trinity sophomore.