For what it’s worth.

Several correspondents have asked me which candidate I back for this year’s Student Assembly president, and I’ve been more than content to keep my hands out of this. As I commented on the yawping last time around:

For a government that manages to be at once self-important and utterly irrelevant, the elections for the most part amounted to an unpopularity contest for Dartmouth‘s least-representative representatives.

Just so. And frankly I’d conclude that things have worsened, if that’s humanly possible. The clutch of over-motivated careerists who dominate the S.A. go gamboling off with some eighty-grand of campus dues–that’s more than most Americans earn a year, I’d add–and then devotes weeks to fantastically petty in-fighting over top-secret e-mail terminals. Come on.

But, for what it’s worth,–I’d call Paul Heintz this year. In a most salient qualification, he’s not associated with the S.A. Amazingly, this has led to the main violence of his opponents: he’s not acceptable because he’s never gotten bogged down in the S.A. tar-pits. So far as I’m concerned this is the precondition of a successful presidency. Who here remembers Molly B. Stutzman, the original campus celeb–

I don’t think Heintz and I agree on a lick of politics; luckily, he’s not standing for an actual political office. What’s the worst he could do? Left-liberal programming on the new flat-screen monitors that are soon to replace our hopelessly old-fashioned bulletin-boards?

And there is more to life, thankfully, than just opinions. I know Heintz rather well and though we’ve often disagreed on much, I’ve always found him to be genial and gregarious, bright and intense and never dull. He is clearly part of Dartmouth’s thriving culture of ideas. On the matters important to the enduring vitality of the College, Heintz is spot-on. That’s it, you know.