John McCain Reminds Me Of Meat Loaf
Sherman Oaks, California
The singer, not the meal.
John McCain reminds me of Meat Loaf, the "Bat Out Of Hell" guy.
If you're not a fan of the Loaf, you might not know that he shares the stage with a female vocalist who acts as his lover, his foil and his equal. Sometimes it's Marion Raven, and sometimes it's Aspen Miller, but it's usually Patti Russo (pictured). She's a brassy Italian dame with a voice that sounds like it's crawled out of a cask of peaty Scotch.
The point isn't that Patti Russo is a better singer than Meat Loaf. The point is that she's obviously a better singer. Plus, after a few minutes, who would you rather watch, the sweaty fat guy or the MILF who's strutting in from one of Tony Soprano's day dreams? Check her out here, here and here.
The temptation is to hire someone dull, who won't outshine you. David Ogilvy, the ad man, was so concerned about this human tendency that he sent his executives Russian nesting dolls; wrapped around the smallest doll was a note which read, "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."
Meat Loaf hired someone bigger than he was.
So did John McCain.
Sarah Palin is a better politician than he is. She's better on TV, better on the stump, better with the base and better at fundraising. She has a lot to learn about policy, but she's only 44, an age at which Ronald Reagan was still hosting General Electric Theater. You don't have to agree with her politics to recognize her talent -- or her potential.
But you should give John McCain credit for selecting a running mate who could, and to a large degree does, overshadow him. He had an eye for talent, and the confidence to follow his hunch. Even if Tuesday doesn't go his way, he's bequeathed his party its new rock star.
And he and Meat Loaf can commiserate about what it's like to be two old guys upstaged by the talented women they put in the spotlight.