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Bob Graham's diary
June 3, 2003 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Bob Graham, Florida senator and Democratic presidential aspirant, burned 246 calories on his exercise bike on Feb. 7, 1999. Good thing, because he weighed in that morning at 187, up one pound from the previous day. How do we know this? Because over the past 26 years, Graham has filled box after box with journals capturing an incredible, some say obsessive, level of detail about his daily life. Quirky, sure; parody friendly, no doubt; but will the GOP be successful in using it to paint him as crazy? (Salon daypass req. for last link)
posted by luser (17 comments total)

 
OCD ?
posted by troutfishing at 8:22 AM on June 3, 2003


I had a professor like this at the University of Minnesota, whose research focus was biorhythms. He'd been doing the same thing as Graham, I kid you not, for 29 years (when I took the class, so 37 now). Recording everything from blood pressure to sleep habits several times a day every day for 29 years. Yikes. Because of this insane level of detail, in the 1990's he was asked by NASA to be on some training program for the next manned launch, and turned them down because he was concerned it would muck with the regularity of his results!
posted by whatzit at 8:32 AM on June 3, 2003


Some people just like data. It's not like he blogged all this info.

But the info I didn't see (I haven't read all the news coverage) is why/how he is letting reporters read them.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 8:39 AM on June 3, 2003


There's people always talking about wearable cameras that could be hooked up to minature storage devices to record every sight and sound you experience during your day. How is this any different? We would probably love to have this much information about some previous politicians or famous peoples in history.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:43 AM on June 3, 2003


I was pondering making an FPP out of this, but this seems as good a place as any to bring it up: the diaries (some 50,000 pages) of the very colorful Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Be sure to search for terms like "seance," "vision," and "psychic."
posted by stonerose at 8:49 AM on June 3, 2003


Good call stonerose. Mackenzie King meticulously recorded the time he woke up each morning because he considered the angle the hands on the clock made to be an omen about the rest of the day. Nutty Canadians!
posted by mookieproof at 9:12 AM on June 3, 2003


OCD=Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sounds harmless to me. Gee, a president who actually keeps track of what he does, instead of claiming to be "out of the loop". Not a bad idea.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:17 AM on June 3, 2003


If he ever suspected he has a food allergy, he'll have all the diagnosis data right there at his fingertips.

That said-- So what?
posted by Cerebus at 9:25 AM on June 3, 2003


If I were thinking about voting for him (I'm not, I'm Canadian) I'd be worried about his priorities. What kinds of things is Graham NOT doing in order to make time for recording mundane details about his life?

Mackenzie King also carefully recorded how much he spent on prostitutes. Can't let that kind of nugget fall through the mesh of time.
posted by orange swan at 9:46 AM on June 3, 2003


I met his assistant press secratary in Seattle at a bar about two years ago. She was really cute, big boobs. Wonder if she shows up in the journal at all?
posted by vito90 at 10:01 AM on June 3, 2003


[everyone]
classy, vito90, classy
[/everyone]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on June 3, 2003


Oh, come on, people. What's the harm? Personally, I think it's great. Sure, it's probably OCD, but who cares? I'd rather have a president that is meticulous, keeps good notes, and notes everything he does than one that can't seem to remember anything, hides things, and is sloppy. Is this really so bad?

As for the people need to relate to their president, I say BALONEY. Unless you're rich, white, protestant, male, married, and powerful, you're NEVER going to relate to a president.

As for the republicans making it an issue in the election, I have no doubt. Let's talk about dyslexia, BUSH, and make fun of that and see how funny it is. Or does that hit them too close to home?
posted by aacheson at 11:00 AM on June 3, 2003


" If I were thinking about voting for him... I'd be worried about his priorities. What kinds of things is Graham NOT doing in order to make time for recording mundane details about his life?"
Plotting, scheming, concocting lies, planning ways to defraud his expenses or the electorate, cosying up with big business, lunching with corporate execs and their reps and formulating laws that favour them rather than ordinary folk?

Your right, he's got his priorities all wrong, for a politician. :)
posted by Blue Stone at 11:54 AM on June 3, 2003


JoanAkham, aacheson - Actually I don't think OCD is such a big deal (necessarily). I'm fairly sure I have a touch of it myself. Anyway Graham has made his career on other personal strengths than those of his compulsive diary writing and, indeed, most politicians have their quirks.

So (to clarify) OCD? - and if so, so what?
posted by troutfishing at 12:22 PM on June 3, 2003


"1:30-1:45: Rewind Ace Ventura "
posted by 111 at 2:33 PM on June 3, 2003


Orange Swan: " If I were thinking about voting for him... I'd be worried about his priorities. What kinds of things is Graham NOT doing in order to make time for recording mundane details about his life?"

Blue Stone: Plotting, scheming, concocting lies, planning ways to defraud his expenses or the electorate, cosying up with big business, lunching with corporate execs and their reps and formulating laws that favour them rather than ordinary folk?

You're right, he's got his priorities all wrong, for a politician. :)


Yes, Blue Stone, as you have said, there are worse ways for Graham to spend his time. But there are also better ways.
posted by orange swan at 6:17 AM on June 4, 2003


troutfishing,
That's what I said. Who cares if it is OCD? Why does that matter? In fact, to quote myself, I said "Sure, it's probably OCD, but who cares? "

People are just scared of anything different. Better to have a mind-numblingly pedantic cowboy with the lack of intelligence and an inquiring mind on par with most Americans, rather than one that is, god forbid, DIFFERENT.
posted by aacheson at 9:18 AM on June 4, 2003


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