Thursday, September 04, 2008


In my short lifetime the United States of America has had to rely on the Vice President to assume the office of the US President two times. That's two times in fifty years -- 1963 and 1974. The picture above is the ceremony which took place on November 22, 1963 in the cabin of the plane carrying the coffin of John F. Kennedy. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned. Despite wildly different reasons, the act of replacing a sitting US President is a very serious and solemn moment. We do NOT face this possibility with anything but a heavy heart.

Look closely at this photograph. For many of us, this was the most powerful moment of the most powerful day in our lives. We didn't actually SEE the bullet(s) strike down John F. Kennedy, but here we are privy to the sad task of swearing in LBJ as the new US President.

Look at their faces. This is pure and real emotion -- raw and compassionate, truthful and beyond sad. Now... I've read a recent piece that forces us to think very hard and look very hard at this picture. I will try to convey what this picture now means to me.

This picture solidifies what it means to choose a Vice President -- to find and support and rely upon a person who will step into the shoes of the sitting US President and take charge. Usually even if the United States would be at peace, the moment would be fraught with danger and fear and sadness and concern for our nation. Should this event ever happen, our nation would find itself in grave danger: markets would falter and fail, services would be interrupted with disruption and chaos, citizens would freeze with disbelief and emotion, and basic necessities including defense, safety, food, transportation, information, and commerce would have to be thoroughly supported through precise and bold executive commands.

This nation is currently at war on two fronts. We are involved in many missions around the globe. We have grave difficulties at home with our economy and infrastructure. The moment for all our leaders is fraught with difficulty. During this election, we are attempting to find the right leader and statesperson for our nation's future at home and our place in the world.

LOOK AT THAT PICTURE LONG AND HARD! Squint and fill LBJ's spot with Senator Joseph Biden. Fill Mrs. Kennedy's spot with a sad and despairing Michelle Obama. Fill Lady Bird Johnson's spot with a sad and despairing Jill Biden.

LOOK AT THAT PICTURE LONG AND HARD! Squint and fill the LBJ spot with Sarah Palin; place a sad and despairing Cindy McCain at her side, and Mr. Palin on the other side.

Now think... who do you want leading this country in the event that this photograph speaks the thousand words of what truly might happen to the US Presidency? Really? What do you envision? In your heart -- with knowledge that the decision affects your life and the lives of your loved ones: your children and your children's children -- who would you trust?