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Trump, Biden, and RFK Jr Walk Into an Irish Bar …

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, heartlanders.

Editor’s Note: From the Back Forty is Liberty Nation’s longest running and most popular weekly column. 

An observant bunch, heartlanders commented on the symbolism of the Ides of March while drinking green Bud Light and blended Kermit-colored cocktails. They celebrated spring and speculated on who might be the next St. Patrick to drive the snakes from the Swamp – and they doused the wildfire of rumors about presidential ticket mates with shots of Irish whiskey. The top three topics of interest included Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bobby Kennedy Jr.

Spring is in the air, farmers are heading to the field, and ranchers are welcoming brand-new babies to the livestock herds. It all has folks across the Midwest feeling optimistic. Could this portend the last “Long, dark winter” on the horizon?

Trump: Et Tu, Pence?

Former Vice President Mike Pence may have finally sealed his fate with the Republican Party when he took an interview with Fox News and loudly declared he would not be endorsing the GOP candidate for president. “He just explained why Democrats win elections,” explained James Mears of Asheville, NC. “No matter which person they run, even with a bad record, they all get in lockstep and vote for that candidate. Even if it will destroy our country.”

“Poor Judas Pence,” declared Faye Sprague, demonstrating the Iowa nice way in Clarinda. And Robert Pollack in Alamogordo, NM, kept in theme: “Backstabbed.” But this guy had a different take, advising folks to be careful who they trust. As Jim Hart in Morris, MI, commented, “Nobody wants to be like Mike.”

Smiling Irishman

Comedian Kathleen Madigan, a midwestern gal who leans Democrat, has a bit in her act about politics: It includes getting “the smiling Irishman out of the bar and doing actual work.” That was when Biden was VP. Well, now the message is about keeping the man on track instead of wandering off, and why no one helps the octogenarian pay attention.

This year, the smiling Irishman was out of the bar in time for St. Patrick’s Day, just in time to host his compeer from the Emerald Island. The Oval Office meeting had an intimate feel, with just a few staff in attendance – yet it seems Mr. Biden still needed a cheat sheet. Photographers captured images of the president holding note cards with photos of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that identified who he was and which country he represented. It also prompted the president to say “Official Working Visit” and a “Bilateral Meeting.”

Heartlanders had a hoot ad-libbing about the instructions on the stack of cards the president gripped with intensity. Suggestions included: “Do NOT ask if Leprechauns are real,” “No sniffing whatsoever,” “Don’t say ‘God save the queen’ or ‘King,’” “Ixnay on bringing up CornPop,” “Do not wander off,” and “Do not shake hands with invisible people.”

Remember, Biden has been known to wander off mid-sentence, go the wrong way after a speech, or have trouble finding his house – the white one – after stepping off Marine One. No one was surprised that a note card in June 2022 included directions on where the Roosevelt Room was and what to do once he finally got there.

Mark Richmond in Canton, OH, couldn’t resist poking the old bear: “Biden is the only person I know who can eat ice cream as fast as he wants without worrying about brain freeze.”

The Bobby Kennedy Jr. Scuttlebutt

There is excitement bubbling over in all presidential camps as to who might be added to the Trump and RFK Jr. tickets. For the Democrats, there’s no news unless Biden unloads his woman-of-color albatross. But Trump has teased non-stop about his big announcement, and Kennedy, inspiring his followers to weigh in, will announce his selection on March 26. Candidates like to dangle potential running mates to see if the electorate responds more favorably – and RFK Jr. stirred up the rumor mill when he said his choice “will reaffirm the key principles of the Kennedy campaign of restoring the middle class, ending the chronic disease epidemic, unwinding the war machine, and unraveling corporate capture of our government agencies.”

But then he dropped a couple of friends in the mix, including former Green Bay Packers and current New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, and the debate was on. A Wisconsinite weighed in, of course. Rob Cohen was thoughtful when he typed: “As a Packer fan, I appreciate what Aaron Rodgers has accomplished for the team all those years. But honestly, I’m glad he’s not here anymore; he attracts drama like flies to a porch light.”

In Weirton, WV, Eric Carper had an idea: “Their campaign slogan will be Make Polio Great Again. MPGA.”

Kennedy may be having problems getting out of the gate and on the ballot. Still, it’s fair to say that the hard-working middle class, rural folks, and the small-town guy and gal are getting their collective mojo back and feeling optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not the train.

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