I know that this will never happen, but now, I want it to. A couple of Above the Law writers are advocating Clarence Thomas for president.
The Republican Party is in disarray, with no clear message — as shown in last week’s primaries — and with no obvious candidate to challenge President Obama in 2012. Thomas could be the GOP’s new standard-bearer. He has enviable name recognition, both as a long-serving justice and as the author of the bestselling 2007 autobiography “My Grandfather’s Son.” And he has already survived the nasty political attacks that marked his 1991 confirmation hearings.
A Thomas candidacy would bring racial diversity and a moving personal story to the Republican ticket. Thomas was born into poverty in Pin Point, Ga. He didn’t have indoor plumbing until he moved to Savannah to live with his grandparents at age 7.
“[My grandfather] told us that if we learned how to work, we would be able to live as well as he and Aunt Tina did when we grew up,” Thomas wrote in his memoir. “. . . Our first task was to get a good education, so that we could hold down a ‘coat-and-tie-job,’ and he wouldn’t listen to any excuses for failure.” Through hard work and a dedication to education, including degrees from Holy Cross College and Yale Law School, Thomas became a distinguished lawyer and public servant.
Thomas is well suited for political office. On the nation’s highest court, he has had to reflect and rule on the country’s most divisive issues. He also has political experience predating the court. He worked as an assistant attorney general in Missouri and then for the Reagan administration in the Department of Education and as head of the EEOC.
I’d be terrible if he risked it and lost (although, as Glenn Reynolds points out– who says he has to step down to run?)- we just couldn’t allow Obama to appoint his replacement. And he would lose- as I’ve said before, as a minority who isn’t liberal, he represents something that the liberals know they must destroy. But, oh! the justices that a president Thomas would appoint.
Ilya Somin doesn’t think it’s a good idea for mostly the same reasons I don’t. (No real discussion of how he would actually be as president, though).