I just got an email from my aunt, the most robust 92 year old I’ve ever known (with the exception of her mother, who lived to 107), pointing to a reported exchange between John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum in which Metzenbaum pitched one of the dumbest soft-ball questions in political history: How can you run for Senate when you’ve never held a ‘real job?’ Glenn hit it out of the park:
I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn’t my checkbook; it was my life on the line. It was not a 9 to 5 job where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me… as I went the other day… to a Veterans Hospital and look at those men with their mangled bodies in the eye and tell them they didn’t hold a job. You go with me to the space program and go as I have gone to the widows and orphans of Ed White and Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their dad didn’t hold a job. You go with me on Memorial Day coming up, and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends than I’d like to remember — and you watch those waving flags, and you stand there, and you think about this nation, and you tell me that those people didn’t have a job.
I’ll tell you, Howard Metzenbaum, you should be on your knees every day of your life thanking God that there were some men — SOME MEN — who held a job. And they required a dedication to purpose and a love of country and a dedication to duty that was more important than life itself. Their self-sacrifice is what made this country possible.
I HAVE HELD A JOB, HOWARD! What about you?
Semper fi, Senator.