What the political and media elite derides as a way-out-of-left-field suggestion for America’s next ambassador to Japan has some surprisingly great merit.
Former baseball manager Bobby Valentine is reportedly under consideration for the post.
The snickers about an Ambassador Valentine evoke the same intellectual condescension that greeted Ronald Reagan. The reactions betray the horror at the opinion and educational elite’s comeuppance at continuing to lose its stranglehold as the gatekeeper to power, and arbiter of what passes for intellectual thought.
Valentine would be a fantastic — and arguably the best — choice for the post. Here’s why:
First, he speaks Japanese. Fluently. This led to the second reason, which is…
Bobby Valentine is a folk hero in Japan. Surprised? Don’t be. Although he is an American, he would be no “gaijin” — that’s the Japanese pejorative for the foreign ball players who used to go to Japan and treat it and their fans like it was all beneath them. Valentine used to play in Japan, and managed some ball clubs there as well before returning to the States to manage the Mets and Red Sox. While in Japan he embraced the language and culture, and in turn was embraced by Japan.
Bobby Valentine is also an entrepreneur, having run his eponymous sports-themed restaurants in Connecticut for many years.
Best of all, Bobby Valentine would do this because he would actually love the country. He would be a far cry from people who are looking to build contacts or a business. Valentine is already a success, already admired by that nation.
Donald Trump would hit a first inning grand slam with his appointment.