Sinodinos and the Pot
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.”)