On the road today I listened to Donald Trump on Cavuto. He said that HE would decide if the Republicans chose the right candidate, and if they did not that he may enter the race as a third party candidate. He is an arrogant ass for such a comment. He ran a stupid campaign based on the birther issue and was promptly made a fool and dropped out. Ross Perot ran a similar campaign, and made some ridiculous assertions about why he entered the race, dropped out and then re-entered. It was stunning then how large a vote he got with such erratic behavior. Trump appears to be following in his footsteps, and there still seems to be plenty of fools ready to follow him.
While private sector experience is a plus, the mere attainment of substantial wealth does not translate into a suitable candidate. Politics requires persuasion and compromise and is antithetical to control freak entrepreneurs like Perot and Trump.
Herman Cain has never held elected office. Politics is a profession and it is a bit presumptuous to assume business success will translate to political success. He was both naïve and ignorant of the political process, and the requirements of the office. He had thought little or poorly about important issues facing the highest office.
Newt likes to be bombastic. He likes to throw controversial opinions like water balloons at a picnic. This may be acceptable behavior as a writer or a pundit, but it is very unpresidential. To suggest that the Palestinians are a “made up people” may have some elements of truth to it, but it a ridiculous to make such a statement if you wish to have any positive impact on Middle East Negotiations. He has a litany of such statements including his explanation years ago that women should not be in combat because they get “infections” regularly.
One pundit noted that Newt likes the ideas that occupy the books at the airport, suggesting that his intellect is shallow. Perhaps. My problem is not that he is not widely read and knowledgeable about a lot of topics a president should know; my problem is that he is capable of rationalizing just about any action he chooses, even if it is the opposite of the one he floated last week. I do not begrudge that a candidate can change his opinion over time.
But there are two kinds of Republicans: those who think that government should be smaller and those that think big government is ok as long as the GOP controls the reigns. Newt seems clearly to be the latter. He has adapted his line of thinking to the Tea Party and that is good if we can depend on him to follow through.
The Tea Party is beginning to remind me of the cancer patient, shocked to reality by the diagnosis and trying desperately to become more informed than the treating oncologist with three decades of experience and ten years of medical school.
The Tea Party and many independents were shocked by the Great Recession and the huge growth in government and debt, both under Bush and made worse by Obama’s administration. Before they were happy hosting cook outs, going to high school football games and playing golf. Now they have to get involved- dammit!
Being president requires more than business success, sexy debating skills, clever phrases and trying to play gotcha. Political skills do not just fall in your lap because you are smart. It takes study and experience like any other profession. It also takes extraordinary commitment, careful deliberation, and an acute sense of clarity. Ideas in DC are a dime a dozen; making effective legislation happen in a hostile and partisan environment is not a task for amateurs.
The Democrats do not represent a majority, but they have the advantage of solidarity. It will be a tragic disappointment if the GOP cannot mange to solidify around a candidate to unseat the worst president in a half century.