Tired of hearing about Obamacare, immigration, taxes, and Ebola? Dreading hearing about these things endlessly in the 2016 presidential debates? Don’t you wish we had something new to discuss with the candidates?
Well, jump for joy, because we dothanks to a recent New York Times obituary reminds us that Ronald Reagan, the man revered by today’s GOP as the exemplar of American presidents, consulted an astrologer on matters ranging from Air Force One’s flight plans to the timing of international summits. Joan Quigley was the administration’s “most closely guarded secret,” according to former Treasury secretary Donald Regan. Nancy consulted the San Francisco-based astrologer three times a day and paid Quigley a handsome $3,000 monthly retainer for most of the Ronnie’s two terms.
Here’s the colorful American history we’ve been looking for to enliven what might otherwise might just be another tiresome political campaign. Gwen Ifill and Bob Schieffer are probably busy, so I’ve gone ahead and drafted some initial debate questions. Let’s ask the candidates . . .
1. When were you born? I mean, exactly: what month, day, year, and time?
2. Nancy selected the astrologer for the Reagan White House. Do you believe that the duties of selecting the White House astrologer should be left to the First Lady? What role should the President play? Should this position require a Senate confirmation hearing?
3. The Reagans regularly consulted their astrologer about a broad range of topics, including highly important meetings with President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union. Are there any areas of domestic or foreign policy where you feel that an astrologer would be especially critical? Are there any areas where, breaking from the precedent of the Reagan White House, you would not consult an astrologer?
4. Throughout your campaign, you have been a strident supporter of calls to return this nation to its Judeo-Christian heritage. How much of your fervor about this issue derives from sincere religious conviction and how much from your just being a Taurus?
5. Would your White House complement astrology with any other forms of divination, such as casting lots or reading sheep and poultry entrails?
6. Will you be paying for your astrologer out of your own funds, or will his or her expenses be covered by taxpayers?
7. Do you feel that having an astrologer might have helped the GOP field more successful candidates in 2012? Could anything at all, terrestrial or extraterrestrial, have helped the GOP field more successful candidates in 2012?
8. Every administration makes it mark on life in the capital through its own strict or lenient interpretation of protocol. At State Dinners and on other official White House occasions, would the American public have the opportunity to see your administration’s astrologer dressed in flowing velvet robes and a pointy hat?