Sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep, I run lists or floor plans through my semi-sedated brain. What was the address of every home I have ever lived in? What was the layout of the apartment my family moved to in 1963? What was the name of every First Lady in my lifetime?
Usually, I know the answer. It may be a hard-wired, obvious answer (Jackie Kennedy) and sometimes I have to ponder a bit (you could get to the front balcony from either the door in my bedroom or climbing out the left living room window.) But I usually don’t stump myself.
That is, I didn’t stump myself until last night. My 2 a.m. puzzle was to remember every vice-presidential major party candidate from 1960-2016 (yes, my night time mind-rambles are very specific.) I was doing quite well, zooming through Miller and Humphrey and Edward. Gore was a no-brainer and so was Bush (H.W, who was Reagan’s VP; not W. who was no one’s VP.) The ladies, Ferraro and Palin, lit up my temporal lobe, although I had to kick out Tina Fey and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss as neither was ever really a candidate. A pity.
So what was it that finally tied my mind up in political knots? It turned out I had no idea, not a clue, as to who ran for vice-president in 2016 alongside Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Yes, there was someone running for vice-president less than 4 years ago even less memorable than Mike Pence, the cipher from Indiana (or Dan Quayle, the other cipher from Indiana.)
Ladies and gentlemen, in case you have forgotten, the man who won the popular vote for VP in 2016 was (drum roll) Tim Kaine, Senator from Virginia. Admit it, you didn’t remember that either. Mr. Kaine has remained in the Senate, even winning re-election in his home state in 2018. But if he was on “I’ve Got a Secret” I bet he could stump the panel with his skeleton in the closet. “I was a vice-presidential candidate in 2016.”
It seems that in this, the Age of Trump, everything else fades into oblivion. One can only hope this age will fade soon, too.
A shout out to Andrea Eisen, who correctly answered last week’s trivia question. She correctly identified John Sebastian as the only artist to have a #1 Billboard hit in the 1970s with a TV theme song (Welcome Back from Welcome Back, Kotter.)
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