An MSNBC reporter asked Rick Perry in an interview that aired this morning whether the Texas governor is "smart enough to be president of the United States." Perry responded that "running for the presidency is not an IQ test."
"Perry's moving out of the governor's mansion in January," when his term ends, says MSNBC political correspondent, "but in the meantime, he's hosting top donors and supporters here for dinners to give them a sense of what his political future might be."
"I think over the course of the last two years, people, you know, they realize that what they saw in 2011 is certainly not the person they're looking at in 2013, 2014, 2015," Perry said, explaining his poor performance in the last presidential election.
The reporter asks, "And are you smart enough to be president of the United States?"
"I think the standpoint of life's experiences. Running for the presidency is not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual's resolve. It's a test of an individual's philosophy. It's a test of an individual's life's experiences. And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future," Perry replies.
Anniversaries come thick and fast. But 500-year marks are still rare, reminders of a simpler time, a different world. We look back to Columbus and forward to the Reformation without understanding the epochal revolution in between that made our time, our world.
On board the ms Noordam sailing from Italy to Greece, with a break from both sightseeing and panels, it seemed advisable to me 1) to ignore the goings-on in Washington, and 2) to find time for an article I'd set aside to read, Harvey Mansfield's "Machiavelli's enterprise" in the October New Criterion. Mansfield uses the occasion of the 500th anniversary of The Prince to provide an explanation of the famous first paragraph of its fifteenth chapter. In doing so, Mansfield provides an extraordinarily compressed but accessible account of Machiavelli's significance as the founder of modern philosophy and of the modern world. It's my pick for best article of the year.
Jean Bethke Elshtain may have been the busiest woman many of us had ever met. Shuttling back and forth between her regular teaching appointment at the University of Chicago and her settled home in Tennessee, she wrote and wrote—and wrote and wrote. Essays, talks, books, memos to fellow directors on the almost endless number of boards on which she served. Letters, emailed comments about her friends’ latest work, notes on current theological and political issues: a ceaseless flow of words.
President Barack Obama, speaking today in Berlin, cited German philosopher Immanuel Kant:
"For thousands of years, the people of this land have journeyed from tribe to principality to nation state to reformation and enlightenment. Renowned as the land of poets and thinkers, among them Immanuel Kant, who taught us that freedom is the unoriginated birthright of man and it belongs to him by force of his humanity."