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Obama’s now sailed into the seas called the Terrors of Victory;—after a fellow wins something as grand as a presidential election he’s just naturally tuckered out and feels he’s earned a few days rest. That’s when the trouble starts. While he’s resting, since he can’t personally appoint all the under-secretaries and deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries in his government, he’s got to find someone to do it for him.

And you can bet every one of all those jobs matters to someone – say, like the deputy secretary of FDA matters to a pharmaceutical company. So, while he’s resting and delegating they’re figuring out how to get their friends appointed and, of course, if that name ever reaches Obama’s desk it won’t have stamped on it ‘nominated by Pharma’ – it will have a resume with a long list of credentials and accolades, probably – given Obama’s background – including degrees from Ivy League universities.

So a lot of times the seeds of a political movement's – say, Obama’s crusade for change – defeat are sewn right there alongside its victory.

Richard Morgan’s got a funny story about this in his memoir, The Fourth Witch. Here’s how Richard first encountered the terrors of victory:

In 1978, I signed on to another campaign and learned one more lesson: Winning can be as treacherous as losing. I ran Jerry Whipple’s campaign for sheriff and in a minor miracle for the first time in a hundred years Moore County elected a Republican.

The cause of the treachery was love.

Not Romeo and Juliet love but what I once heard a Baptist preacher call other woman love.

About as soon as Jerry got sworn in he fell head over heels in love with the dispatcher in the sheriff’s office. Only no one knew it. Not his wife. Or her husband.

Then one morning Jerry and the dispatcher disappeared. They just vanished. We had a jail full of criminals and no sheriff in sight. Worse, since we couldn’t find Jerry we couldn’t replace him. He hadn’t officially resigned and, legally, he was still the duly elected sheriff.

The blessing that followed that bit of sinning was odd.

As a result of blind dumb luck we finally found out Jerry and the dispatcher had run off to New York and the party leaders got in touch with him long enough for Jerry to say even if we were short a sheriff he wasn’t coming home – which everybody took as a back-handed resignation.

We picked the Pinehurst police chief, a Democrat, James Wise, who’d attended the FBI Academy to replace Jerry. Jim Wise was the most popular sheriff ever in Moore County and served for sixteen years, until he retired.

You can purchase a copy of Richard’s book here.


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