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The Political Junkie Makes a Nicotine-Free Return

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Hello my fellow political junkies; it’s been awhile. Quitting smoking and politics is not a very conducive match and therefore, in the interest of my own personal health, I took the year off politics. Well, now that I think that I have successfully beaten the beast, I feel it is time to return to my true love and see how different it looks without the haze of nicotine blocking my view. Looking over the prospects vying for the office of President and taking into consideration the fiasco that has been the last eight years, I can’t help but think of the classic Lloyd Bridges quote from Airplane: looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking.

I honestly cannot find any real hope anywhere on the horizon if what we are currently seeing are the best options our entire country could produce. I really tend to think that any real candidate who would have run is waiting until 2012. What sane person would willingly walk into the path of an avalanche? I mean, with the war in Iraq and the economy, whomever takes that oath on January 20, 2009 is pretty much doomed to a one term failure.

Regardless, these appear to be our choices and, like any good political junkie, I have an opinion on them all and am more than eager to share them with any and everyone.

John McCain

Let’s take care of the Republicans first: mainly because there is only one running, but also because the argument against him is fairly simple and won’t take much time. Ready? He is too old. That’s mostly it. And I am not talking numeric age, but rather his mental age. The simple truth is that the events of John McCain’s youth, while tragic and his survival and overcoming of them heroic, have taken its toll on his mind and the man is mentally older than his age. The verbal “gaffes” he has made on the campaign trail thus far could be written off to fatigue, but the truth is he has yet to really begin campaigning. If he is error making tired now, then that only further shows how unfit for office he really is.

Hillary Clinton

I have never liked Hillary and, for the record, I loved Bill and actually would have loved for him to have a third term. I tend to see Hillary as someone with an agenda that she has yet to tell the world, but everything she does seems like some conscious move towards some sinister goal. I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes me feel this way nor can I even guess as to what her end game may be, but there is that feeling I get that I can only explain as the same a child would get from that creepy old man and his overly eager hugs. Every fiber of my being just yells “run” whenever I think of her and the Oval Office.

Barack Obama

I am going to take flack here and I know it. I get a very similar creepy feeling from him as that I get from Hillary, but it is different at the same time. I believe Obama has the best intentions, but is too smart for the job and that, combined with his lack of experience will make him weak. Think Jimmy Carter, only instead of the late 70’s, place him right in the middle of the Vietnam war. There is no time for “on the job training” and a man that smart needs to study a problem before fixing it. With a lack of time, a smart man’s next step would be to take the advice of those around him whom he trusts and therein is the big problem with Obama. He has shown over and over again to me that his judgment of who to listen to is lacking.

If McCain runs against Obama, then I believe McCain will win. McCain is fairly “bulletproof” when it comes to unexposed skeletons in his closet; Rove made sure of that in the 1999 Republican primary. Obama, on the other hand, is a total mystery. He was introduced to the world at the 2004 Democratic Primary as the next President of the United States at Kerry’s event (and the Dems wonder how Kerry lost) and was running for the presidency before he even ran for the Senate. He is a prime target for that dreaded “October surprise” and, given the public’s reactions to thing a fellow Democrat has brought out, it could be poll shattering at that crucial last minute.

McCain versus Hillary is more of an even money race to me. McCain edges over Hillary in that his age, that very same factor I hold against him, works for him in this case. Everyone knows he can only serve one term, so his chances of beating Hillary come down to his choice for Vice President and the theoretical Republican candidate in 2012. It is probably that one term factor that garnered him the Republican support he did get considering his supposed “maverick Republican” label.

The factor that makes the McCain- Hillary race a toss up is the fact that many people will vote for Hillary simply due to her marriage to Bill. There is also the aspect that she, like McCain, has had most of the skeletons already dragged from her closet as well. There is very little bad about her that we don’t already know and don’t already factor into our opinion of her. In reality, most people are probably going to sit out a McCain/ Hillary race simply due to the lack of difference between the two.

So, after all that, who do I actually want to be President? Simple actually: David Palmer, but he is dead…and fictional, so that really is not going to help us.

I think we need to realize that we, as a nation, are looking at a very hard next few years; a resolve testing hard time. We are going to find out if we really live up to how we expect the world to see us. Just remember that any tee-shirt you see with the phrase “I survived the Bush years and all I have is the lousy tee- shirt” that it is copy written by yours truly.

I really need a smoke.

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About Brad Schader

  • Brad Schader

    Comments 1,2, and 3, thanks. I am still waiting for a real choice to step up. If ever there was a chance for a third party, this is it.

    Comment 4, I think you misunderstood my point. I am saying that we do not have the luxury right now of time. Obama’s lack of experience is a major problem. I was saying he is smart, but smart is not enough. Jimmy Carter is probably one of the most intelligent people ever to take that oath and also one of this country’s weakest presidents. Obama is not ready and, more importantly, we do not have the time for him to learn on the job.

  • Zedd

    Wow. We are now reduced to not voting for someone because they are too smart and they would actually think before acting. WOW!!

    Sounds like a Boomer, must be a Boomer!

  • Michael of South Florida

    “I honestly cannot find any real hope anywhere on the horizon if what we are currently seeing are the best options our entire country could produce.”

    That is truly a sad reality check for this country, yet so on the mark. The last 8 years has been pitiful in the presence of so much great minds and talents sitting to the side allowing the last 8 years to have occurred.

  • jamminsue

    Congrats on beating the ungodly nicotine habit. That is something to be proud of!

    Your analysis is dead on, as a lifelong Democrat, I am seriously considering sitting out the next election. I can’t bring myself to vote for McCain, it appears he has sold out to the neocons. But, neither Democrat is what we need now. I can only hope that whichever is nominated picks a smart VP, like Richardson or Biden, and gives him authority, but that is probably too much to hope for.

    I have a nightmare of a Obama/Clinton ticket – not a good thought.

  • Bill and Hillary are the same people. He just hides his dark side better than she does. They both know how to use power to get things done. That is a good thing.

    John McCain is trying to appeal to the extreme conservative of the Republican party. That is not a good thing. In too many situations he is not acting like the guy we thought we knew. It boils down his VP selection.

    The length of the primaries have worked in Obama’s favor. He has become a stronger candidate. The way he has organized a staff and raise money has been impressive. This shows his ability to quickly adapt.

    Unless someone has been a VP or in Hillary’s case married to the President and living in the White House, I do not think anyone really knows what it is all about until they are in the office.

    I pay a lot of attention to learning curves and how mistakes are handled. McCain or Obama? Good choices. Which is the better choice?

    Who ever wins needs to understand the tribal situation in Iraq and the Russian involvement in the Iranian situation. Conventional free elections will never work in these countries.

    Preconditions or whatever, people can not solve problems or compromise unless they talk.

    Real issues, the economy, energy, and foreign policy.