And, even better, we can tie the number three to something very much in today's news.
Our junior senator here in Illinois is running for President of the United States. You may have heard of him: Barack Obama.
Recently Obama's poll numbers have trended up in next-door Iowa, whose upcoming caucuses supposedly signal the start of the presidential campaign (begging entirely the question of what we've been enduring lo these past many months...).
Senator Obama has recently suggested he's not been planning his presidential run for nearly as long as some other candidates. This apparently hit a colleague of his, the junior senator from New York, in a sensitive area. You may have heard of her, too, Hillary Rodham Clinton, once of Park Ridge, Illinois, one-time wannabe "co-President" with William Jefferson Clinton.
She put her issues team to work... and they came up with this press release which reveals, inter alia,
"In third grade, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want To Be a President.' His third grade teacher: Fermina Katarina Sinaga "asked her class to write an essay titled 'My dream: What I want to be in the future.' Senator Obama wrote 'I want to be a President,' she said." [The Los Angeles Times, 3/15/07]And I bet you thought the nuns were kidding about that "Permanent Record" thing, didn't you?
In kindergarten, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want to Become President.' "Iis Darmawan, 63, Senator Obama's kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. He wrote an essay titled, 'I Want To Become President,' the teacher said." [AP, 1/25/07 ]
Anyway, Senator Clinton's research skills have not produced the results for which she hoped. Instead of shock and outrage that Senator Obama had tried to conceal his life-long, naked ambitions, she's gotten horse laughs....
For example, The Capitol Fax Blog opined yesterday that, "If this doesn’t get Clinton laughed out of Iowa, I don’t know what will."
In the Chicago Tribune today (online here), columnist Eric Zorn also picks up on that "Permanent Record" idea (honest, I wrote my nun line before I found his column), writing that he called "called the Obama campaign’s Chicago headquarters on Monday... checking into rumors that" Obama "used to write his R’s backwards." He said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt "refused to go anywhere near the penmanship issue," but quoted him as adding, "All I'll say is that we’re preparing for the charge that Obama flip-flopped when he decided in second 2nd grade that he wanted to be an astronaut."
Presidential campaigns are so silly in this country that they will go back to an opponent's third grade and kindergarten teachers in search of dirt! I doubt that Senator Clinton's staff is unique here -- what is unusual is that no one stopped her minions from publishing the fruits of their research to the Internet. And this research was done (we trust) without the massive resources of the Federal government. Can you imagine any of these people getting access to the files of the IRS?
If you've stayed with me this far, you may say, all well and good -- but how does this tie in with "three"? Well -- did you notice? One of those essays was from the third grade? Too much a stretch?