Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Canonical presidential candidate validation.

Well, as the American presidential race wanders its way through primaries, caucuses, delegates, conventions and all that the overly-ardent Sherlockian must make at least one consideration of the political scene via the Canonical significance of the field.

Sometimes, that quest is easier than others. When Sherlock Holmes ran for president in 2000, his campaign speech could speak directly about George Bush, because Holmes had mentioned Bush (or at least "bush") in the Canon. In that particular race, even Al Gore's last name could be found in "surely not gored by a bull" in "Priory School." It was the perfect Sherlockian presidential race. No non-Canonical Obamas, Romney, or McCains.

T'were this season's race come down to something like 2000's Canonical chase, the primaries would have to give us Trump versus Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is, of course, the most completely Canonical, having that outside chance of being some distance cousin to Ikey Sanders of "Mazarin Stone."

Donald Trump, however, in a suitably Trump fashion, has a whole Canonical village dedicated to his line . . . Trumpington from "Missing Three-Quarter."

In 2000, the candidate with the best Canonical quote relevance actually won the presidency. Could there be some prophetic value to Doyle's words, giving Bernie Sanders one more ray of hope in his campaign?

If you go back to Jimmy Carter versus Gerald Ford in 1976, you could attribute Carter's victory to the fact that his name tied to a Canonical accountant and not a car, as his opponent's did. Before that, it's hard to find a pair of presidential candidates who both have Canonical reference ties without going before Doyle's time . . . which makes it a little less prophetic.

And really, given the absence of Canonical folk with names like Clinton, Reagan, or Dukakis, we can probably rule out Doyle having foretelling tips from the spirit world or somesuch.

But you know the Sherlockian spirit. We have to try to handicap horse races based on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, pick Oscar winners, and . . . occasionally . . . see what politics has in store for those familiar names and places.

Something to do on a Wednesday night, in any case.


  1. It seems to me that we did something about the presidents in an issue of 'The Holmes and Watson Report', many a year back, but what I do not recall (too lazy to research it)

    1. We did! And you can find a lot of that material here:

  2. Here is a former Presidential candidate & Sherlock Holmes connection that many Sherlockians know of. William Jennings Bryan was an American orator and politician from Nebraska, and a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States. Bryan's daughter Ruth Bryan Leavitt wrote the stage play "Mrs. S. Holmes, Detective"in 1906.