Fishing Presidents

While just about anyone who fly fishes would prefer a president who shares their curiosity about and appreciation of the natural world, a front-page Wall Street Journal article this morning might make us want to think twice about having another “fishing president.” That label was first given to Herbert Hoover, who many blame for extending the Great Depression when, as the Journal‘s Louise Radnofsky describes, Hoover was perceived to “put ideological loyalty to the free market ahead of trying to help people suffering from the downturn.” Hoover earned a reputation — deserved or not — for indolence, aloofness, and foolish disregard. If you consider that an entire 388-page book has been written about Hoover’s fishing habits (Hal Elliott Wert’s Hoover The Fishing President: Portrait of the Private Man and His Life Outdoors), and very few historians praise him for political adroitness, it’s also worth considering whether an addiction to fly fishing recommends anyone to the highest offices of the land. (We have other negative examples that spring to mind, along with visions of Blackhawk helicopters on Wyoming streams, but I’ll skip those.)
Fact is, U.S. citizens are more in need of a leader who won’t treat leisure time and aloofness as privileges of office. Don’t get me wrong: if today’s winner wants to learn the Belgian cast, I’ll be the first to offer. But I’m more than a little hopeful that the notion of the president being truly a public servant enjoys a revival. It’s the only way we’re all going to have more time to go fishing.

This entry was posted in Other News, People. Bookmark the permalink.