Will the political tide turn for Todds?

May 18, 2017 at 6:00 am | Print View

So state Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, stopped in Cedar Rapids Tuesday morning to let locals know he’s running for governor of Iowa.

Prichard, a military vet and former prosecutor, is jumping into an increasingly crowded field vying for the Democratic nomination in 2018. There could be eight or more candidates. The winner will face a formidable Republican nominee. Perhaps it will be Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who will become Iowa’s incumbent governor any minute now.

So big obstacles are ahead for Prichard. Hurdles galore. But none, in my view, is as daunting as convincing voters someone named Todd should be elected to high office.

Maybe you, too, have noticed the remarkable lack of political clout among the Todds of this great nation. I’ve certainly noticed, for obvious reasons.

Todd is, at best, an underappreciated moniker. At worst, it’s openly derided. Popular culture has been very hard on Todds. Snobs. Dolts. Freaks. Punchlines. Think Todd and Margo in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.”

“And I’m getting really sick of guys named Todd. You know? Yeah,” comedian George Carlin said in a famous, funny bit. “It’s just a goofy, just a goofy (beeping) name, OK?”

Entertainment may be a lost cause. Todd will remain flawed. But could politics turn the Todd tide? It’s an uphill fight.

Unless my Todd search is mistaken, the closest a Todd has come to the U.S. presidency was Todd Palin’s ill-fated bid to become the highest-ranking snowmachine racer in the McCain-Palin administration. It did not work out.

There was Mary Todd Lincoln, but a last name really shouldn’t count. The Lincolns had a son named Tad. Oh, so close.

How about “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd? Nah.

Look around the internet, and evidence of politically prominent Todds is scant.

Until recently, the highest ranking Todd was Missouri U.S. Rep. Todd Akin. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012, shared his views on “legitimate rape” and lost. Oh, for the love of Todd.

Now, Indiana has become the center of Todd power. The state’s newly elected U.S. senator is Republican Todd Young. He joins Indiana 4th District U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, also a Republican.

Rokita recently made news by defending United Airlines after a passenger was infamously dragged from one of its crowded flights to make room for crew members. How odd, Todd.

But 2018 may change everything.

Prichard is not the only Todd running for governor. Current Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is seen as the best bet to win the Republican nomination for governor next year. If Oklahoma’s electorate is as ruby red as I think it is, a Todd will be running Oklahoma sooner than later.

I suppose it was just a matter of time. Todd as a name reached its popularity apex in the 1970s, so its recipients just now are reaching the right age for pursuing higher political ambitions.

A Todd wave could be just around the corner. Millions of Americans soon could be governed through an act of Todd. Goofy? Make that “governor.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8452; todd.dorman@thegazette.com

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