A throttlebottom is a useless incompetent holding a public office. The word comes from Alexander Throttlebottom, the Vice President character in the 1932 musical comedy Of Thee I Sing, the first musical comedy to win the Pulitzer Prize. Throttlebottom's connections with the government he is a part of are so faint that he saw the White House for the first time on a public tour. He "lives at 1448 Z Street. . .with the other boarders" and "sits around in the park and feeds the pigeons, and takes walks, and goes to the movies." He's happy to find that he has a chance to become president when the Senate begins impeachment proceedings for President John Wintergreen and runs off eagerly to preside over the presidential trial -- after the White House tour guide tells him that's the Vice President's job.

"Every Vice President from John Nance Garner to at least Lyndon Johnson went into the office vowing: `I will not be a Throttlebottom.'"
J. Roberts, "Throttlebottoms's Legacy," National Review (New York), June 25, 1990.

Apparently there is or was a Tennessee rock band called Throttlebottom, but their page at www.throttlebottom.musicpages.com no longer exists. All the listings pointing to the nonexistent page describe them as "swanky rock and roll."

http://www.wordsmith.org/words/throttlebottom.html http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~hns/articles/archives/2000/080500b.html http://www.boston.com/news/politics/campaign2000/news/VP_timber_gets_taller.shtml http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton/ofthee.htm