Friday, 10 February 2012

Crazy Names in American Politics. Randy What?

Republican politician Randy B. Honest
Beware politicians and their names.

I have long thought that the 'trend' with many politicians to have separate names from their spouses (Ed Balls and Yvetter Cooper to name just one pair) is a means to disguise huge joint incomes (not to be confused with illegal drug profits) and possibly nepotism.

All too often I'll be reading the paper (see Mum, those years in school paid off) only to discover that Mr. A is married to Mrs B; or even worse, especially for an old-before-my-time curmudgeon like me, Mr. Y is married to Miss Z. Since when has a married woman been a "miss?" Trade Description Act m'lud.

At first I would stumble upon one or two of these, but the more news I read and watch the more examples I find. It goes on in acting and business too, but it worries me especially in politics. Oh I know some will be "wymmin" who insist on keeping their family name; funnily enough, a patriarchal family name, from their father - you'd have thunk they would choose their mother's maiden name. Oh but hang on, that was patriarchal too from their grandfather. And so it goes on ad infinitum... Perhaps that should be "Miss X" like Malcolm X the black Muslim radical in America who did not want to keep the name of a 'slave-master' (I'm sure some feminists think men are slave-masters too).

Anyhow, I've wandered off the beaten track (again!). This matter of different names does get a bit confusing. At one time, with all the expenses fiddling and the matter of David Mills who was a solicitor for Berlusconi who was married to government minister Tessa Jowell... it seemed that every government minister was married to someone with a different family name (Cherie Booth and Tony Blair, Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey...)

I haven't looked yet, but I wonder if the Conservatives and Liberals are the same?

Yet no matter what we might think of this state of affairs, and the dodgy dealing and/or political correctness behind it, it seems we have to cross 'the pond' and go Stateside to see some real rib ticklers when it comes to politicians and their names.

There is a German name Baumgartner, and obviously a lot of them travelled to America as the list of famous Baumgartners on Wikipedia shows. But here's a hint. It's worth a lot of money to the right person. Call it an investment for the future and a way to ensure happiness in the household. If your family name is Baumgartner whatever you do - and I mean whatever you do - do not anglicise it to Baumgardner. Especially when the media pronounce it "bumgardner." Oh, and one more thing. if you (a few generations down) find yourself in that predicament, please (and I cannot emphasise this enough!) for the love of all that is Holy, in the name of all the saints in heaven, do not call your child Randy.

Yes Randy Baumgardner. The Republican politician, who had to go through school with a name pronounced as randy bum-gardener. Hmmm. Like "the man named Sue" do you think it made him into a stronger person?

Some parents just seem to have a streak of evil in them.

Then we have Scooter Libby. I mean what's the story there? "I know, we'll name our son after something kids ride around the block or that Italians zip around Rome on." Scooter? Kids are taken into care on flimsier pretexts than that!

And what about Newt Gingrich? Newt? Newt? Come on parents! You have a duty of care. You are supposed to love your offspring, not offer up a bully's charter.

Have you ever heard of the German three-piece songmeisters that excel in operatic serenades? Ron, Paul mit Romney. Oh yes their talents at high pitched wailing are legendary. Oh no, hang on. It's Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Mitt? Mitt? What were his parents thinking? "Shall we name him after the German word for 'with'?" or "ah, he's as cute as a mitten - will that do?" Honestly. It gets worse. Mitt isn't even his first name. His full name is Willard Mitt Romney (a German double act, wait no, I've done that joke). Now Willard isn't a great name. But it's a name. A recognisable, OK-ish name. Willard Romney. It stands out. It's half-decent. I could get my head around that quite easily. It's not weird or complicated and I got A levels. I think I could cope. But Mitt?

Let's get this straight, Willard Mitt Romney has a lot of money. He's some sort of millionaire or billionaire (quelle surprise!) it seems that's what you need to get buy (sorry - by) in the world's greatest democracy. The best democracy money can buy! So he's loaded. He could call himself Dave if he wanted, no-one would argue/care. But to dispose of Willard in favour of Mitt? He may not be a dollar short of a million, but he could be a fork short of a picnic.

So there we have it. My brief sojourn into the world of political names. It's been quite an adventure! If you have your own examples of great names (or even craven nepotism disguised by different names) do please leave them so we can all have a giggle.


  1. We hada friend called Baumgartner they lived in City Road.. My friend was Maureen and Pa's friend was David her Brother


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