In it, I congratulate Britain's latest Prime Minister, David Cameron, on his success in last week's election; then I indulge myself in some historical commentary on the first of his predecessors, Sir Robert Walpole.
Walpole was a piece of work: a big, hearty, back-slapping man with a great rolling laugh. “In all occurrences, and at all times, and in all difficulties, he was constantly cheerful,” said a colleague. He was a heavy drinker; but, like Ulysses S. Grant at war, he was always cold sober when there was serious business to be done.It's all there at Taki's Magazine.
Dr. Johnson said of Walpole that “he always talked bawdy at his table, because in that all could join.” At least one American President seems to have been of the same disposition. When Vernon Jordan was asked what he and Bill Clinton talked about when playing golf, Jordan replied: “We talk pussy.” Walpole’s combination of political skill and personal crudity is very Clintonian.
And yes, before I get any more emails, I miscounted the number of Prime Ministers I've lived through. It's 13, not 14, darn it. Measure twice, cut once . . .