Barack, Hillary & John

April 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Every four years I ponder the state of America.  Soon we will be down to the two most qualified people in the entire country to be president.  The way we select our supreme leader has dealt us more than a few headaches.  While the president has little direct personal impact on each of us, he or maybe this time she has a huge impact on the country and the world. 


My brother and I began rating candidates years ago and staging our own personal debate on who was best qualified to be elected President.  We are both in our sixties, so by any definition we are old guys.  We watched the first ever presidential TV debate between Nixon and JFK.  It was 1960 and it was a first for many reasons.  JFK was young, many said too young, and Catholic and many were worried about the Pope telling him what to do.  JFK was different in another way, he sounded very different to most people who had never heard a Boston accent.  He had little or no real experience being a junior senator who had done nothing in the senate.  He was a true war hero who never talked about his service.  He never referred to it at anytime.  He served on PT boats in the Pacific and was a wounded war hero by anyone’s measure.   


JFK had a theme and it was the New Frontier.  We all love new beginnings and hope they mean a better world for us all.  He said something that moved us all when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  He also started the Peace Core and sent young Americans around the world to help the less fortunate.  Thousands rushed to enlist in this endeavor and they helped ten of thousands. 


The election of 1960 and all those since have been contentious and in many ways mean spirited.  This is the nature of the American election process.  It never amazes me much when our politicians start slinging the dirt or having their supporter sling the dirt, but I always hope they won’t do it.


As part of evaluating each candidate my brother and I list their positives and negatives.  We argue over this a bit, but not to much.  After doing this for decades we have the most important factors down to just four things.    


Why just four and not a hundred?  Because some just don’t matter.  Experience is okay but no one is ready based on experience to be president, even the presidents we reelect.  Most two term presidents actually are better their first 4 years than their second.  This is true of every president in my lifetime.


The four we have select are raw honesty, intelligence, and flexibility or ability to change your mind based on new information and changing facts and the baggage they bring with them to the job.  We have from time to time included admitting when you get it wrong, but we think this is probably included in honesty.  We think toughness; loyalty to your party, friends and allies is a negative factor and probably hurts America.


The final factor is very important.  How much baggage does the candidate have to carry with them into the job?  Who do they owe?  Who are their friends and supporters and their allies?  What positions have they taken over the years that prohibit them from acting differently?  It turns out that baggage plays an important role in how people govern.  Their supporters, earlier positions and the people close to them will have a major impact on how they govern us and what interests are served? 


We have rated the three candidates and we agree again this year as to who is the best qualified to be president.


#1 Barack – first by a mile based only on the Mike & Pat rating scale.  Honest, intelligent, open to new ideas and opinions and no baggage.  He is his own man and he is by far the brightest person running now and since JFK. 


#2 Hillary – second by a nose over John, but not honest and carrying way too much baggage.  She has to carry Bill and he is just too heavy for us as a country to carry again.  He lied on TV to us all and he has never said he was sorry.  She too lies; her statements about being under fire are just one too many for the country to carry.  She should stay in the Senate and try to help Barack when he becomes President.


#3 John – he is a nice old man who served his country and does some good work in the Senate.  He is for the Iraq war and supports the failed President Bush policy that has hurt America.  He continually misstates facts about the war and he says he will stay in Iraq for 100 years.  That is 99 years too long.



Entry filed under: Rants.

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