Will Power

In Statuary Hall of the Capitol, they rub his shoes for luck.  And boy do we need it and more of him now.



25 thoughts on “Will Power”

  1. Pogo, thanks for reminding us.  where there’s a Will there’s a way with words.

    for example:

     “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

    “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

    “There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

    Will Rogers


  2. for those who never heard of Will, here’s wiki about him:

    William Penn Adair Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.

    Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a Cherokee family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). As an entertainer and humorist, he traveled around the world three times, made 71 films (50 silent films and 21 “talkies”), and wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns.

    By the mid-1930s Rogers was hugely popular in the United States, its leading political wit and the highest paid of Hollywood film stars. He died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

    Rogers’s vaudeville rope act led to success in the Ziegfeld Follies, which in turn led to the first of his many movie contracts. His 1920s syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances increased his visibility and popularity. Rogers crusaded for aviation expansion and provided Americans with first-hand accounts of his world travels. His earthy anecdotes and folksy style allowed him to poke fun at gangsters, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other controversial topics in a way that was appreciated by a national audience, with no one offended. His aphorisms, couched in humorous terms, were widely quoted: “I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

    Rogers even provided an epigram on his most famous epigram:


    When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: “I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident [sic] like.” I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.



  3. I’m not sure how I ever came to know about Will Rogers. He died in 16 years before I was born, and I don’t remember there being a lot of video about him that I ever saw. The first thing I recall having heard attributed to him was that last line in his epitaph, which I found an interesting idea.

    I liked this one “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”

    But this is my favorite. “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

  4. pogo, unlike you, I knew (or absorbed the knowledge osmotically) about him probably before birth.  he was born not far from my grandpa’s farm in Claremore Okla and was revered and often quoted by my parents.

  5. from an old hill piece in 2013:

    Unlike the other statues in the corridor off the House floor, humorist Will Rogers watches people. [WATCH VIDEO]

    Colonial Gov. Jonathan Trumbull looks down at his parchment. French Jesuit missionary and explorer James Marquette stares straight ahead.

    But while camera crews gather and members of Congress pass by on their way to the House chamber, the bronze Will Rogers stares down at them with the corners of his mouth turned up. His hair is parted to the side, and his hands are in the pockets of his loose-fitting suit.  

    The statue, which Oklahoma gave to the National Statuary Hall collection in 1939, stands in the second-floor corridor between the rotunda and the House chamber — a stakeout location for camera crews looking to catch House members during voting. It’s also a common meeting place for reporters and lawmakers, with staff often directing the media to be at the “Will Rogers stakeout” at a certain time.

    Many lawmakers believe that Rogers requested the placement so he could keep an eye on Congress, which provided an endless source of humor for America’s beloved movie star, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist.

    “They’ve got him turned toward the House for a reason,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), whose collection of Will Rogers quotations is well known among his colleagues. “He said before he died, ‘Even after I’m gone, I’m gonna keep an eye on you.’ ”

    But the statue’s placement is a coincidence, said Barbara Wolanin, curator of the Architect of the Capitol.  

    “It really isn’t factual, but it’s a fun story,” Wolanin said of the legend in an interview with C-SPAN. Jo Davidson, the sculptor of the statue and friend of Will Rogers, suggested the location because he said it had the best light.   

    Many lawmakers also believe the statue is lucky and will rub Will Rogers’s left foot for good fortune. The tradition has persisted for decades, despite the Capitol’s efforts to conserve the statue with “Do Not Touch” signs.

    “Those who look after the Capitol don’t like people to rub Will Rogers’s foot, but it is good luck,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) after he was caught in the act. He couldn’t resist. It’s tradition.

    “Don’t hold me responsible,” Frelinghuysen said.  “My father was a member of Congress for 22 years, and when I came here as a child and sat on the floor of the House in his lap, I think the Will Rogers [statue] was in the vicinity here, and people did what I’ve been doing.”

    Why is it good luck? Frelinghuysen answered: “It just is.”

    Wolanin said she wishes people wouldn’t touch the feet because the statue is getting worn down.  

    “It’s really not good luck for Will Rogers to have people touch his shoes,” Wolanin told C-SPAN in 2001.

    In fact, Rogers’s statue is suffering the same fate as other famous images. Like St. Peter’s statue in Rome, which has had its toes replaced several times after being worn down by the touch of the devoted, the tops of Rogers’s shoes were almost completely worn from brown to gold. They have been touched-up, but a splotch of gold on the tip of his left toe

    shows that the rubbing persists.  

    Although the statue represents Oklahoma, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) — also a foot rubber — says the legacy of Will Rogers transcends his home state. 

    “Will Rogers we like to think of as the quintessential Oklahoman, but honestly I think he was an American original,” said Cole. “[He] is like Mark Twain. You may be from Missouri, but every American owns Mark Twain, and I think the same thing’s true of Will Rogers: Every American has a piece of Will Rogers.”

    William Penn Adair Rogers, who famously said, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” was one of the best-known celebrities of his time.

    He was born on Nov. 4, 1879 in Native American territory (near what is now Claremore, Okla.). In the 10th grade, he left school to become a cowboy and traveled around the world performing rope tricks, which he began presenting onstage as a Vaudeville performer in 1904. He joined the Ziegfeld Follies in 1914.

    As a movie star, radio star, syndicated newspaper columnist and author, Rogers spoke to the nation with through his wit. His favorite topic was politics, especially Congress.

    ”I just seem lost for comedy since Congress adjourned,” said Rogers when the 69th Congress ended in 1927. “I would keep them in session the year round for my business, but I have some consideration for people.”

    On Aug. 15, 1935, Rogers died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. His statue was unveiled June 6, 1939, before a crowd of 1,800 in the Capitol Rotunda. (An identical statue had been placed at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Okla.). Members of Congress and Vice President John Nance Garner took part in the ceremony.

    Since then, Rogers’s favorite source of comedy has been at his statue’s feet — literally.  It’s no wonder he’s smiling.

  6. renee, this one’s for you, blue bronc and all our other trail friends who really know the correct way to vay cay.  


  7. Watching local coverage of rally goers yesterday really reinforced the Twain quote on our thread: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.”

  8. patd…  thanks for that cartoon.  It really is great to clear one’s head every once in a while.

    I am anxiously awaiting next week’s Dem debate.  Even though it’s summer, it will finally feel like real campaigning.  Hoping that some candidates drop out shortly thereafter.  I’m not sure what to think…   on one hand it would be nice to see them not beating each other up.  OTOH…  they will need to be razor sharp with taking and throwing punches at trump…  may as well practice.

  9. patd – great cartoon.  What is funny is how many visitors to marinas get frustrated when they find out the cell phone coverage is iffy at high tide and non-existent at low tide.  eh, enjoy life.
    My big question regarding the white nationalist clan meeting last night was how many bothered to show up with a corollary question of did the right wing amgen arena fill up?

  10. Trump alleges they raised 24 million last night after the rally –wonder how much came from Pam Bondi and the Trump foundation

  11. BB
    There were empty seats – but they allege that’s because of the rain.  BUT
    Earlierthe extremely gullible media was reporting thousands were flocking there BUT  one reporter (the only actual reporter) pointed out that only 60 people were in line    not thousands.
    The media took information from the SFB campaign — and they are all proven liars.  The media is stupid, gullible and secretly wish they were Trump

  12. sturge, he made mojo this morning thirteen plus minutes

    Jaime Harrison says he has a shot at taking Graham’s seat

    Jaime Harrison is a South Carolina Democrat who is making a bid for Lindsey Graham’s Senate seat, and he’s using Graham’s own words against him in a new ad. Harrison joins Morning Joe to discuss why he thinks he can win in a reliably Republican state.

  13. wapo:

    The Trump administration is threatening to furlough — and possibly lay off — 150 employees at the federal personnel agency if Congress blocks its plan to eliminate the department.


    The Office of Personnel Management is preparing to send the career employees home without pay starting on Oct. 1, according to an internal briefing document obtained by The Washington Post. The employees could formally be laid off after 30 days, administration officials confirmed.


    The warning of staff cuts is the administration’s most dramatic move yet in an escalating jujitsu between Trump officials and Congress over the fate of the agency that manages the civilian federal workforce of 2.1 million.


    Even as House Democrats and some Republicans signal that Congress is not going to break up the 5,565-employee department, the administration is moving forward in defiance. Trump appointees paint a dire picture of a corner of the government in financial free fall and failing to carry out its mission. They want a commitment from Congress by June 30 to agree to disband the agency — or they say they’ll be forced to trim staff.


    Trump officials say that OPM is a broken agency that should be wiped clean and restarted. They cite security weaknesses that led to a massive data breach, inefficient hiring policies and a backlogged system of processing paperwork for retiring employees.


    The proposed breakup would pull apart OPM and divide it among three other departments.


    Most of its functions would move into the General Services Administration, the government’s real estate and procurement arm. OPM’s backlogged security clearance system already is shifting to the Defense Department, through legislation previously passed by Congress.

    OPM’s leadership would shift from an agency director to a Senate-confirmed deputy in the GSA and a position within the White House budget office responsible for federal workforce policy that the president would appoint.


    The plan to dismantle the agency was the brainchild of a senior career official at the budget office. Weichert, a private-sector executive focused on improving business operations before she joined the Trump administration, has committed to it with a vengeance.


    She’s told her staff that she is “planning to play chicken with Congress,” according to three officials familiar with the comments.


    Critics say she is deliberately starving the agency in order to kill it.


    “After realizing they were not going to prevail on the merits of the proposal,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s panel on government operations, said in an email, “the Trump Administration is taking 150 federal employees hostage unless we consent to a plan that has no rationale and is nothing more than a political gambit to give the White House control of our long-standing merit-based civil service system.”


    A report by a federal watchdog this week concluded that killing the agency would hinder, not ease, the long-standing retirement claims backlog.


    “Potential changes in organizational affiliation, policy, budget and staff may make it difficult for OPM to plan for large-scale changes in its operations,” the Government Accountability Office said.


    The American Federation of Government Employees and the National Federation of Federal Employees, which represent OPM and GSA staff, have scheduled a June 25 rally at Triangle Park in downtown Washington to protest the breakup.

  14. So Pres. SFB on the Iran issue has his greater devil Tom Cotton on his left shoulder urging attacks against Iran and his lesser “Angel?”, gasp! Tfucker Carlson on his right shoulder urging restraint. We are tfucked.

  15. pogo,  politico quotes cotton:

    His goal? “To inflict enough pain on Tehran that they realize that we’re not going to tolerate these kind of attacks on the high seas.”


    however, I think becoming Sec of Defense is his real goal.  it’s an audition for a new role in trump’s reality show and he’s wooing the twit with war words to look macho manly enough to get the job

  16.  The position calls for someone with integrity. cucker carlson hasn’t the qualification to become our SoD.

  17. tom cotton has neither the integrity nor the brains to be our SoD. In Jan, 2001, expel the turd.

  18. Someone shoulda asked hicks about her affair with trump.
    There’s no expectation of exec privilege for that topic.

  19. XR, expectation of exec privilege? Bwahahahahahaha. “We” don’t need no stinkin’ expectations. We got our assertions. 

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