Thursday, January 21, 2016

We Missed An Opportunity To Elect A Birder President

On Dec. 29, 2015, former Governor of New York George Pataki formally announced that he was ending his bid to become president of the U.S.A. Coming at the end of the year from a candidate that never really had a chance, the announcement didn't garner a whole lot of attention. I sure as heck didn't really care. But maybe I should have.

As fas as I know, Theodore Roosevelt was the only birder president. He was an incredible man, as I've written about before, even though I've proved using science that I am a better birder than he was.

Pataki, apparently, was another. I had no idea! It certainly didn't come up during the debates, which focused instead on screaming and yelling.  Pataki positioned himself as the centrist Republican candidate, but didn't mention that he was an award-winning conservationist. (Which was probably smart, considering the audience).

And he certainly didn't say he could pish. That's some next-level birding! That's ain't no Dukakis-in-a-tank bullshittery! Check out the video, from ABC:

Back? Pretty cool, right? He was on Theodore Roosevelt Island, here in DC! 

But, man, not a single bird in sight. Not a single damn bird. You've got to feel for the guy. There's not much more embarrassing than trying to impress people by pishing up a bird and getting no response. When pishing works you feel like a magician, but when it doesn't work you just feel like an idiot making mouth-noises at a bush. I've failed at pishing with plenty of bird walk groups, but never on camera. Brutal.

But then, it's a pretty good metaphor for the whole campaign, huh? The man stood up there in front of the American public and made noises with his mouth he hoped would get people interested in him, but they just never showed and interest. Takes guts to do that.  Good birding out there, Governor Pataki, wherever you are.


Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter is a birder, but apparently didn't take up birding until he was out of office, in 1996.

Dont' sniff at Teddy Roosevelt. He may be the last person to have seen Passenger Pigeons in the wild.

Eric Scholz said...

You say "probably smart, considering the audience." My recollection is that Republicans were responsible for the creation of the national wildlife refuge system, the national park system and the Endangered Species Act.

NickL said...


Thanks for your comment, but Pataki's audience is in 2016 not 1916. Old-school Rs may have been responsible for NPS, USWFS, and ESA, but today's Congressional Republicans are trying hard to tear down all three.

Good birding,

Laurence Butler said...

Yeah but he never released his long-form eBird life list certificate, so how could we know if he even was, constitutionally, an eligible birder presidential candidate?

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