A new column by George Will titled “Running vs. shrugging” begins:
Before what he calls “the jaw-dropping” events of the last 19 months — TARP, the stimulus, Government Motors, the mistreatment of Chrysler’s creditors, Obamacare, etc. — the idea of running for office never crossed Ron Johnson’s mind. He was, however, dry tinder — he calls Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” his “foundational book” — and now is ablaze, in an understated, upper-Midwestern way. This 55-year-old manufacturer of plastic products from Oshkosh is what the Tea Party looks like.
He is trim, gray-haired and suddenly gray-suited. For years, he has worn jeans and running shoes to his office, but now, under spousal duress, he is trying to look senatorial — “My wife upgraded me to brown shoes.” He has been endorsed by the state party and will almost certainly win the September primary for the Republican nomination to run against Russ Feingold, who is seeking a fourth term in a year in which incumbency is considered a character flaw.
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Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson led Feingold in polls and froze the race on the Republican side before deciding not to run. But in this season of simmering resentment of the political class, a neophyte such as Johnson might be a stronger candidate than a recycled executive. Johnson can fund himself. Asked how much of his wealth he will spend, if necessary, his answer is as simple as it is swift: “All of it.”
And concludes with this gem:
From 2000 through 2008, sales of “Atlas Shrugged,” which was published in 1957, averaged a remarkable 166,000 a year. Since Barack Obama took office, more than 600,000 copies have been sold. The novel’s famous opening words — “Who is John Galt?” — refer to a creative capitalist, Rand’s symbol of society’s self-sufficient people who, weary of carrying on their shoulders the burden of dependent people, shrug. Ron Johnson would rather run.
See the full column for more.