I trust everyone has heard about Michael Cresta, the carpenter from Lexington who recently shattered the single-word and single-game records for competitive Scrabble. His amazing single-word play was “quixotry,” a 35-point word (the 8-point “X” was doubled) that was greatly amplified by hitting two triple-word squares and by the 50-point bonus for using all his letters, for a record total of 365 points.
“Quixotry” is a synonym for “quixotism,” meaning “that form of delusion which leads to extravagant and absurd undertakings or sacrifices in obedience to a morbidly romantic ideal of duty or honor, as illustrated by the exploits of Don Quixote in knight-errantry.”
All of which puts one in mind of Bill Weld, don’t you think? This, to refresh our recollection, is the guy who improbably became the Governor of Massachusetts when the Democratic party nominated the worst candidate in modern history (John Silber), thereby driving swarms of Democrats to vote for the guy who wasn’t Silber. Weld, who quickly became bored when he realized to his chagrin that governing required actual work, then went for John Kerry’s Senate seat and lost a not-very-close race; resigned his office to pursue the ambassadorship to Mexico even though it was obvious he’d never get it; became CEO of a sad little college in Kentucky that ended up under federal investigation; and ran a highly improbable and quickly-failed campaign for Governor of New York. Jon Keller offers this warm remembrance:
When I asked him last fall if he had any personal regrets over the [Big Dig] tragedy, Weld said “no, the project was on-time, under budget, and being properly handled at the time I shuffled off.” Wow. The man is either a world-class liar or in a pathological state of denial.
Anyway, Bill Weld has now taken up his latest quixotic cause: Mitt Romney. Today’s Globe reports that, despite Weld’s long-time friendship with Rudy Giuliani, and despite the fact that Weld’s positions on almost every issue of any significance are far closer to Giuliani’s than to those of Romney’s latest reinvention of himself, Weld is backing Mitt Romney for president. Asked why, Weld basically said that he thinks Mitt is a winner. (The actual quote: “It’s just that I think Mitt Romney is going to be and should be the next president of the United States.”)
Which should comfort those of us who don’t care for the idea of a President Romney. Bill Weld’s track record of picking winners is about as impressive as the Chicago Cubs’ track record of winning the world series. Quixotry indeed.