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Sinodinos and the Pot

August 24, 2011

The American political adage, “piss – or get off the pot” is suitable advice for John Howard’s respected Chief of Staff Arthur Sinodinos now speculated on as replacement for Senator Helen Coonan who has just announced she will resign from her NSW Senate seat.

Sinodinos, who now works as a senior executive for the NAB and has other business associations, has been spoken of as Liberal candidate for Wentworth and Bradfield and NSW Liberal Party President. On each occasion he has opted not to enter the contest.

The Senate seat is apparently his for the asking and the state executive of the Liberal Party will simply endorse him. If he wants it. But if he passes it up then he’ll begin to acquire the reputation of perpetual candidate, stalking the battlements of Elsinore, and never prepared to plunge in and risk a ballot.

By the way, the expression, “piss – or get off the pot” is a slight bowdlerisation of what Richard Nixon is said to have told Dwight Eisenhower when the general was dithering over replacing him on the 1952 ticket because of the “Checkers scandal” (I couldn’t believe it either, but it appears to be well documented. See this clip from a PBS documentary.) It is one of many urine based American political adages, like John Nance Garner’s assessment of the Vice Presidency (“Not worth a bucket of warm piss”) and Lyndon Johnson’s reaction to a suggestion he remove J. Edgar Hoover (“It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”)

2 Comments
  1. Tom Round permalink
    August 25, 2011 10:51 am

    > “one of many urine based American political adages…”

    And let’s not forget what “Goldwater” in Yiddish is apparently slang for.

    FDR’s shuffling through Veeps from Cactus Jack Garner to Henry Wallace and finally Harry Truman seems a classic case of thesis/ antithesis/ synthesis. Garner was a right-wing old school Democrat who refused to step foot in Washington again once his term as Vice[-]President expired. Wallace, by contrast, was a Soviet sympathiser to make HV Evatt look like Arthur Koestler by comparison. And Truman was a mix of both left and right (within the Democratic Party’s extremely, er, wide spectrum) the man who bombed Hiroshima and who integrated the armed forces. I wonder how many Tea Partiers would be pleased to be reminded that their Cold War hero attended LBJ’s signing of the Medicare/ Medicaid legislation as an honoured guest (a President Emeritus? I suppose Bill Clinton does need some kind of official job description until he can take up First Gentleman in January 2013).

  2. rog permalink
    August 31, 2011 4:18 am

    Don’t forget de Gaulle’s advice to not get between a dog and a lamp post.

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