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Horton Wins a Prize

From the Scrapbook.

Jun 6, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 36 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Astin’s celebrity got the unknown, first-time candidate some much-needed publicity. Astin appeared on behalf of the fledgling Adler campaign on MSNBC and Los Angeles’s local NBC and Fox affiliates, and the actor’s foray into politics got mentions in USA Today, the Washington Post, Time, and the Boston Globe. But as Roll Call noted, there are downsides to having a campaign manager who’s better-known than the candidate:

Astin’s local NBC appearance demonstrated part of the challenge of the campaign. While he was trying to promote his candidate and longtime friend, B-roll clips of Astin’s father in the 1960s television show The Addams Family were playing in a split screen.

Not even endorsements from Holly-wood middleweights like former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, comedian Paul Reiser, or Grammy-winning recording artist Macy Gray could help Adler, who ended up with a whopping 361 votes, or less than 1 percent of the total votes cast. But given Astin’s prominence in the campaign, The Scrapbook wonders how many votes were written in instead for “Rudy -Ruettiger” and “Samwise Gamgee.”

The Greasy Pole Is Back!

Like all conservatives of a certain age, The Scrapbook has grown accustomed to seeing institutions in decline, authority degraded, and tradition in decay—all too often paraded before us clad in the ill-fitting disguise of “progress” and “reform.” So it’s with unaccustomed cheer that we can report the return of a venerable custom to the U.S. Naval Academy. 

A year ago we recorded the sad news that—in the name of nannyism and safety—plebes were to be denied the challenge of scaling the lard-slathered, 21-foot tall granite obelisk known as the Herndon Monument, a perennial rite-of-passage to mark their completion of the academy’s harrowing first year.

The Washington Post reports that the new superintendent, Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, brought back the greasy pole. “Two hours, 41 minutes and 32 seconds after the Class of 2014 started,” the Post reports, “Matthew Dalton of Florida was pushed to the top, dislodged the plebe cap and placed the midshipman’s hat in its place.” Last year’s ungreased ascent took mere minutes.

The Scrapbook tips its homburg to the new superintendent—and to the midshipmen of the class of 2014.

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