Now that Peter King has looked in the mirror and seen a presidential candidate, the rest of us suddenly have a hometown rooting interest in Campaign 2016 -- regardless of how we feel about the South Shore Republican's pugnacious politics.
High time, I say.
Nassau and Suffolk counties haven't exactly been prime cradles of presidents. We can plausibly claim Teddy Roosevelt and his Sagamore Hill elk heads. When George Washington toured Long Island in 1790, he apparently slept in every third house -- or so the island's B&B brochures proclaim. And the "History of Long Island Presidents" pretty much ends right there, unless you count a few Bill-and-Hil overnights with the East Hampton Spielbergs.
So run, Peter, run!
Let the Washington pundits critique the interventionist foreign policy. Let Ted Cruz and Rand Paul defend themselves.
We'll keep our focus on the local angles:
What will Air Force One do to East End chopper flights?
Can Jones Beach really become the next Hyannis?
Who will get the presidential library -- Massapequa or Massapequa Park?
If Ronnie and W could have their presidential ranches, why can't Peter have a presidential ranch house?
1. From Seaford to America
2. He's navigated the Midtown Tunnel -- how hard could the Middle East be?
3. An LI lobster in every pot
4. He's in a DC State of Mind
5. It takes a Hampton
ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Those brawling Chuck E. Cheese moms in Commack, how much are they enjoying their YouTube fame? How proud are their children? . . . Wanna buy a fake Jackson Pollock? Wanna buy a fake Painted-by-the-6-Year-Old-Next-Door? Sands Point art dealer Glafira Rosales is charged with selling one or the other. I just can't be sure which! . . . Did Garden City mail out a 2013-14 Sanitation/Recycling Schedule that Mayor John Watras now says contained "some inaccuracies"? And now residents are getting a second one? That's OK, right? Twice the paper, twice the recycling! . . . A $500-a-day fine in Babylon for "invasive bamboo"? So what's the penalty for something really unwelcome, like runaway poison ivy? . . . Why do roads buckle and people wilt? The process isn't all that different, isn't it? . . . Is this a sign of real estate's revival? After years of shedding agents, some big LI firms are suddenly recruiting agents again . . . Now that everyone loves the fake PBS trailer for a fake reality show "Long Island Landscapers" (mocking all the trash on commercial TV), which trashy network will actually make the trashy show? "The boys are going over the hedge!"
THE NEWS IN SONG: You've got opinions, man: Sara Bareilles, "King of Anything": tinyurl.com/kingofany
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: JOE TESTAVERDE
Joe Testaverde was 17 in the summer of 2000 when he dove into the shallow end of a friend's pool and broke his neck, leaving his legs and hands paralyzed. But the Wantagh teen loved the water too much -- fishing and surfing, especially -- to let something like that keep him inside. He drives now. With years of therapy, he's regained use of his hands. He makes fresh progress every day. And there he was on Friday, leading a group of disabled surfers on an afternoon of magic through the waves at Lido Beach. "Wheels 2 Water Long Island," the program is called. It depends on many able-bodied volunteers. Now 30, Joe is never more free than when he's riding through crashing water and watching other disabled surfers smile.
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