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Old 01-29-2004, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Just a thought about Presidents

The President of the United States is a big deal.

The office is prestigious, coated in history, surrounded by drama.

Every four years it's the same joke- "THIS is the best we can do?" Seriously, we've seen crappy candidate after crappy candidate flow through the election rolls, and consistently half of America thinks the guy in charge is a joker.

How can it be so hard to find folks QUALIFIED to lead this country? Bush is a failed businessman, a failed sports owner, and a failed Governor (Sorry, I lived in his state, and seeing your national ranking in air quality, education, and unemployment all plummet under your watch is not good), yet he's qualified to hold our highest office? This isn't intended as a Bush bash, he might be a fine guy personally, but Trump would fire him! (Sorry, got "The Apprentice" on the brain) Spotty resumes for Dukakis, Gore, Dole, and this year's crop only further make my point. Hell, I'm a John Edwards guy- so for my money, a 5-year senator whose been a tort lawyer for 20 years is the most qualified!

Wesley Clark gets a pass. No matter your partisanship, he's qualified. (See Powell, Colin as well) Doesn't mean those guys would make good presidents, but in Clark's case, his resume should be enough to get him in the discussion. Too bad that's almost all he has goin' for him...

And hey, I live in a state that elected Arnold. Where's all the quality leaders?
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: wherever I am
To answer the last question, doing something other than politics. I agree that the candidates might not always be the best qualified but you have to pick from who applies for the position. Maybe the question should be why aren't more qualified people seeking the position? What can be done to make the position more appealing?

If given the opportunity I know I wouldn't run for president.
So, what's your point?

It's not an attitude, it's a way of life.
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
I believe the Presidency position is protected by informal requirements. I have heard that all presidents were Masons either sworn in before taking office or having been a mason previously. The joke made by Eddie Murphy in the 80s on "Raw" or "Delerioius" was funny and should not be valid but I think the reality of this is that it was dead on.
Imagine a Black man winning the election? After 2000 I am convinced it wouldnt happen.
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I'd vote for a qualified black man. No qualms whatsoever, and I'm "generic Ohio white guy". Hell, 15 years ago, everyone woulda voted for Bill Cosby!* Today, I'd settle for David Palmer from 24... as long as he doesn't show up as Pedro Cerrano some workdays. This is not a society that offers chicken sacrifices...

*Not to jack my own thread, but I've always felt for Cosby. A lot of folks see him as a bit of a racist nowadays, his own doing, really. Nonetheless, I always enjoyed his bits as a kid, and recognized the value of his show in the 80's. Hearing all the stories about Ennis (his son) on the old records made me feel really f'in bad for the guy when his kid was murdered. I can't imagine how that feels, especially to a guy whose whole career has been making families laugh. Well, not including "Leonard, Part 6".

(Another side note, I've sadly been watching "Celebrity Mole", and this post may be a direct response to seeing Corbin Bernsen (Major League) and Rudy from Cosby Show last night. Maybe.)
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: In the dust of the archives
Originally posted by mb99usa
Maybe the question should be why aren't more qualified people seeking the position?
Well, from what I've seen over the years, the public at large loves to see things laid to waste. For probably the same reason that people find it necesary to ogle an accident, we seem to love to tear into our leaders, and lay them open, exposed and vulnerable to each and every little flaw. I have every confidence that there are/were some very excellent statesmen and leaders that never surfaced because they either couldn't stand up to, or didn't want to be exposed to, the public scrutiny. What we demand of our leaders is an awful lot to ask of any man or woman. I know for a fact (I was asked to run for City Council, by the Libertarian Party)that I wouldn't do it...would you?
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

"Hedonism with rules isn't hedonism at all, it's the Republican party." - JumpinJesus

It is indisputable that true beauty lies within...but a nice rack sure doesn't hurt.

Last edited by Bill O'Rights; 01-29-2004 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tough to say. Personally, I've always been a hard worker, I do well in my current profession, and I'm well liked by just about everybody (And hated by a few). I'm working on my PS degree now, and after I finish that up, I may have to consider that. I'm no dumb kid, but when I was a dumb kid, I did a LOT of stupid things. Will they come back to haunt it I run for City Council? Maybe. If I ran for anything higher... definitely. President? I'd be buried. Of course... Bush just refuses to answer charges about his past, so maybe that's the new status quo. Who knows?
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: VA
Qualified, you say? Here's the biographies of the Democratic Presidential Candidates (in order of the New Hampshire results)

I think any of the top five are qualified to be President, but you be the judge:

John Kerry
John Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 at Fitzsimmons Military Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where his father, Richard, who had volunteered to fly DC-3's in the Army Air Corps in World War II, was recovering from a bout with tuberculosis. Not long after Sen. Kerry's birth, his family returned home to Massachusetts.

A graduate of Yale University, John Kerry entered the Navy after graduation, becoming a Swift Boat officer, serving on a gunboat in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, and three awards of the Purple Heart for his service in combat.

By the time Senator Kerry returned home from Vietnam, he felt compelled to question decisions he believed were being made to protect those in positions of authority in Washington at the expense of the soldiers carrying on the fighting in Vietnam. Kerry was a co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America and became a spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- Morley Safer would describe him as "a veteran whose articulate call to reason rather than anarchy seemed to bridge the gap between Abbie Hoffman and Mr. Agnew's so-called 'Silent Majority.'" In April 1971, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he asked the question of his fellow citizens, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Sen. Claiborne Pell, (D-R.I.) thanked Kerry, then 27, for testifying before the committee, expressing his hope that Kerry "might one day be a colleague of ours in this body."

Fourteen years later, John Kerry would have the opportunity to fulfill those hopes - serving side by side with Sen. Pell as a Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But in the intervening years, he found different ways to fight for those things in which he believed. Time and again, Kerry fought to hold the political system accountable and to do what he believed was right. As a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Kerry took on organized crime and put the Number Two mob boss in New England behind bars. He modernized the District Attorney's office, creating an innovative rape crisis crime unit, and as a lawyer in private practice he worked long and hard to prove the innocence of a man wrongly given a life sentence for a murder he did not commit.

In 1984, after winning election as Lieutenant Governor in 1982, Kerry ran and was elected to serve in the United States Senate, running and winning a successful PAC-free Senate race and defeating a Republican opponent buoyed by Ronald Reagan's reelection coattails. Like his predecessor, the irreplaceable Paul Tsongas, Kerry came to the Senate with a reputation for independence -- and reinforced it by making tough choices on difficult issues: breaking with many in his own Party to support Gramm-Rudman Deficit Reduction; taking on corporate welfare and government waste; pushing for campaign finance reform; holding Oliver North accountable and exposing the fraud and abuse at the heart of the BCCI scandal; working with John McCain in the search for the truth about Vietnam veterans declared POW/MIA; and insisting on accountability, investment, and excellence in public education.

Sen. Kerry was re-elected in 1990, again in 1996, defeating the popular Republican Governor William Weld in the most closely watched Senate race in the country, and in 2002. Now serving his fourth term, Kerry has worked to reform public education, address children's issues, strengthen the economy and encourage the growth of the high tech New Economy, protect the environment, and advance America's foreign policy interests around the globe.

John Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry. He has two daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa. Teresa has three sons, John, Andre, and Christopher. Senator Kerry lives in Boston.
Howard Dean
Governor Dean is a physician who previously shared a medical practice with his wife. (To read more about his wife Judy, click here.) He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1971 and his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1978. He served in the Vermont House from 1982 to 1986, was elected lieutenant governor in 1986, and became governor in 1991 with the death of then-Governor Richard Snelling.

A common-sense moderate who firmly believes that social justice can only be accomplished through strong financial management, Governor Dean has cut the income tax twice, removed the sales tax on most clothing, and reduced the state's long-term debt. Not only did the governor pay off an inherited $70 million deficit, he worked with lawmakers to build "rainy day" reserves to help the state through any future economic downturn.

During the Dean tenure, more than 41,000 new jobs have been created, the state's minimum wage has climbed twice, incentive programs have expanded to help downtowns attract new businesses, and tax incentives were created to attract and keep new companies.

If fiscal management is Governor Dean's trademark, improving the lives of Vermont's children is his passion. A physician, Governor Dean strengthened the Dr. Dynasaur program to guarantee health coverage to virtually every child in Vermont age 18 and under. Vermont has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country and one of the highest rates of immunized children. Governor Dean has expanded programs to help seniors afford prescription drugs, and he signed into law one of the toughest managed-care consumer protections in the United States.

It is the preservation of Vermont's precious natural resources and landscapes that the governor considers his legacy. Governor Dean worked with local communities and the federal government to preserve more than one million acres of farmland, shorefront, working forests, and wilderness.

Under the Dean Administration, 76 of the state's leaking landfills were safely closed, and Vermont became a leader in the move to reduce mercury pollution and stop power plants from polluting the air. Governor Dean has created bikeways, led the effort to restore commuter rail service in Vermont, and led a strong, coordinated attack on sprawl.

Working with lawmakers, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement, Governor Dean has cracked down on violent crime in Vermont and ensured that violent felons spend time behind bars. He has fought to protect family farms, increased the number of women and minorities in judgeships and other prominent positions, cracked down on domestic violence, and put Vermont in the forefront for child support collections.
John Edwards
John Edwards was born in Seneca, South Carolina and raised in Robbins, North Carolina, a small town in the Piedmont. There John learned the values of hard work and perseverance from his father, Wallace, who worked in the textile mills for 36 years, and from his mother, Bobbie, who ran a shop and worked at the post office. Working alongside his father at the mill, John developed his strong belief that all Americans deserve an equal opportunity to succeed and be heard.
A proud product of public schools, John became the first person in his family to attend college. He worked his way through North Carolina State University where he graduated with high honors in 1974, and then earned a law degree with honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For the next 20 years, John dedicated his career to representing families and children hurt by the negligence of others. Standing up against the powerful insurance industry and their armies of lawyers, John helped these families through the darkest moments of their lives to overcome tremendous challenges. His passionate advocacy for people like the folks who worked in the mill with his father earned him respect and recognition across the country.

In 1998, John took this commitment into politics to give a voice in the United States Senate to the people he had represented throughout his career. He ran for the Senate and won, defeating an incumbent Senator.

In Congress, Senator Edwards quickly emerged as a champion for the issues that make a difference to American families: quality health care, better schools, protecting civil liberties, preserving the environment, saving Social Security and Medicare, and reforming the ways campaigns are financed.

As a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Edwards has worked tirelessly for a strong national defense and to strengthen the security of our homeland. He has authored key pieces of legislation on cyber, bio, and port security.

Senator Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, whom he met when both were law students at Chapel Hill, were married in 1977. They have had four children, including: their eldest daughter, Catharine, a student at Princeton University; five-year-old Emma Claire, and a three-year-old son, Jack. Their first child, Wade, died in 1996.
Wesley Clark
As a 25-year old Army captain in Vietnam, commanding a mechanized infantry company, Clark was on patrol in the jungle, looking for Viet Cong, when he was shot four times. Commanding his troops despite his wounds, he gave a series of orders, and his soldiers quickly overran the enemy positions. His bravery in battle earned him a Silver Star.

Wes returned to the United States to recover from his wounds. One week into his stay at Valley Forge Hospital -- after he was up and out of his wheelchair - his wife Gert got permission to bring him home for a short visit to meet a four-month old boy named Wes - who had been born when his dad was in Vietnam.

At an early age, Wes remembers feeling that the country was in danger - listening to radio reports on the Korean War and hearing the grown ups talk at the barber shop about Nikita Khrushchev's threats. He remembers one cold day in Little Rock pulling a folding chair into the hallway where the floor furnace was, and reading in Reader's Digest about Soviet tanks crushing the revolt in Hungary. In his words, he "wanted to do something to protect the country." At age 17, he entered West Point, where he graduated first in his class and won a personal victory in America's oldest inter-service rivalry - meeting his future wife Gertrude at a dance given for naval midshipmen in New York.

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His record at West Point won him a Rhodes scholarship, and in 1966 he headed to England for two years of study at Oxford University. He passed his Oxford exams in two years and left to go to Army Ranger School for 72 days of training before leaving for Vietnam.

The future General spent the next year in company command and military schools, rebuilding his body, and learned that in the Army, the surest reward for success is ever-tougher challenges. General Clark commanded battalions in Colorado and Germany, taking units that had failed inspections and transforming them into outfits receiving top ratings. He was the commanding General of the Army's National Training Center during the Persian Gulf War, and later conducted three emergency deployments to Kuwait as the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

"We lived in 31 houses, apartments and, in one case a house trailer, had 20 jobs, and were always on the road -- and it wasn't the road to riches," Clark said. "But when my eight-year obligation to the Army was over, I decided to stay. To me, there was no greater honor -- no way to be nearer to the heart of what mattered in America -- than to be serving and protecting the country in the United States military."

Over the years, he has won the praise of many highly-placed people. General Barry McCaffrey, who taught with Clark at West Point called him a "national treasure," and "one of the top five most talented people I've met in my life." Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General John Shalikashvili said: "Clark has an infinite capacity for hard work and stress." General Alexander Haig, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, called the Major Wes Clark "an officer of impeccable character." General Colin Powell called then-Lieutenant Colonel Clark an officer of "the rarest potential."

In 1994, General Clark was named director for strategic plans and policy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was there that General Clark insisted that the Pentagon develop an exit strategy for the 1994 invasion of Haiti. It was an innovative approach, which brought together the UN and the US government, non-military elements.

An American Leader

In 1995, General Clark traveled to the Balkans as the military negotiator with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in a US effort to end the war in Bosnia, the bloodiest war in Europe since World War II. Shortly after arriving, General Clark was traveling in a convoy on a treacherous mountain road, when an armored personnel carrier went over the edge with three US negotiators inside. General Clark ran to the site, worked his way down the mountainside to the vehicle, which had burst into flames. He called for a fire extinguisher, and pried open the hatch of the vehicle - too late to save his friends. Clark blamed Milosevic. It was a tragic beginning of the American effort to bring peace to the Balkans.

A few months later, General Clark played a vital role in ending the war at the Dayton peace talks. Historian David Halberstam wrote that some observers considered General Clark one of the "quiet heroes" at Dayton - because he worked out a peace plan that would be militarily enforceable, even though he knew it put him at risk in the Pentagon, where almost no one was behind him.

In 1997, after serving as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Southern Command, General Clark was selected for one of the top posts in the military: Supreme Allied Commander of NATO - a position first held by General Eisenhower.

As Supreme Allied Commander, General Clark commanded NATO forces during the war in Kosovo - and won the war in a way few thought possible: with air power alone, without a single allied combat death, while holding together the alliance of 19 nations, and isolating Milosevic from his allies. Milosevic's brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing' that had led to four wars - met its match in Kosovo. His attempt to drive a million Kosovars from their homes was crushed, and the loss led to the end for Milosevic, who was voted out of office and later handed over to be tried for war crimes.

Halberstam summarized General Clark's performance in Kosovo this way: "On the military side, the dominant figure had been Wes Clark. To no small degree, he had broken ranks with the Pentagon because of his belief that America had to act at certain moments to be the nation it believed it was."

In his career as a commander in the Army, Clark attributes his success not just to his ability to fight the enemy, but his ability to fight for his people. "We're in the era of the all-volunteer Army," General Clark has said. "My soldiers were free to go, and I needed them to stay." That's why Wes Clark worked hard as a commander to take care of his soldiers and their families - advocating for better housing, better health care, and better schools for their children. "You can't build a strong Army just with great generals; you have to have great people at every rank. You have to give everyone a chance to be all you can be.' It's true for the United States Army, and it's true for the United States."

"I'm running to bring back the core ideals of our democracy - personal liberty, open debate, and opportunity for all. These ideals have made us great. They will make us greater. They will make us safer and more prosperous. Join me. We can have a new kind of patriotism in America. We can have a new kind of America."
Joe Lieberman
Throughout his public life -- whether representing his community of New Haven, Connecticut in the state legislature, fighting for the people of his state as Attorney General, serving 14 years in the United States Senate, or running for Vice President in 2000 alongside Al Gore -- Joe Lieberman has dedicated himself to giving something back to the country that has given him so much.

He has done his best to honor the values -- faith, family and freedom, equal opportunity and tolerance -- that he learned from his parents, his teachers and his hometown. Joe's father worked his way up from the back of a bakery truck to own his own liquor store. His mom, like his dad, is the child of immigrants. Together, they worked hard to earn the money to send Joe to college -- the first in his family to go. From there, he went on to law school, and began serving the people of his state, in the State Senate, in 1971. During the 1970s, Joe worked with Governor Ella Grasso to protect consumers and the environment and promote new job growth in Connecticut.

Lieberman has fought to knock down barriers, stop discrimination, and extend the promise of America to all our people. In the 1960s, Joe joined thousands to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the historic March on Washington, and led a group of students to Mississippi to fight for African-Americans' right to vote.

As Connecticut's Attorney General from 1983 to 1988, Joe stood with single moms against deadbeat dads, fought corporations that broke the law to prey on consumers, and prosecuted polluters to make them pay. And in the Senate over the last 14 years, he's continued to lead -- guided not by partisan politics, but by his principles -- and to fight for what's right for America.

Joe has worked hard to spur innovation, create jobs, and keep the government's books in balance. He's fought to keep our nation safe and secure, by championing the creation a Department of Homeland Security to better protect America from terrorist attack. He's pushed to protect and preserve our environment for future generations. He's a strong advocate for investing in our public schools, empowering parents, and giving all Americans the chance to go to college. And he has worked to expand quality and affordable health care to every American and safeguard Medicare and Social Security for future generations.

Joe and his wife Hadassah have four children: Matthew, Rebecca, Ethan, and Hana. Plus they are the grandparents of three beautiful girls, Tennessee, Willie and Eden. He wants for them just what all Americans want for their families a fair chance to live their dreams. That's the promise of America.
These are all fine Americans, and I'd be proud to call any of them President (even if I've been on the Kerry bandwagon since reading Tour of Duty). So please don't call them unqualified.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Wandering in the Desert of Life
Originally posted by Bill O'Rights
Well, from what I've seen over the years, the public at large loves to see things laid to waste. For probably the same reason that people find it necesary to ogle an accident, we seem to love to tear into our leaders, and lay them open, exposed and vulnerable to each and every little flaw. I have every confidence that there are/were some very excellent statesmen and leaders that never surfaced because they either couldn't stand up to, or didn't want to be exposed to, the public scrutiny.
I really think Bill's on the right track here. We no longer give our candidates any slack. People make an occational bad decision and goof up every now and agian, but we don't seem to want to accept this. We look back at leaders of the past and say "Where is our Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln?" They may very well be right in front of our eyes. Washington was a great man, but he used to bribe dock workers with rum in order to get their votes. Jefferson had numerous mistresses and at least one child out of wedlock and many believe that Lincoln suffered from bouts of extreme depression. Hell, most people did not know FDR was in a wheelchair!

It is good to know a great deal about our candidates, but it is sort of like a card trick - Once you know how the trick is done, it doesn't seem so great.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Detroit, MI
I agree that the candidates might not always be the best qualified but you have to pick from who applies for the position.

True, that...

Good stuff Sparhawk, thanks for the mini-bios..

I would vote for Clark, as he is no doubt a Supremely Competent Leader, but I have reservations about putting the Military in charge of the country. I think the business of governing should be left to governors, diplomats, politicians, as bizarre as some of them may be.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Right here
Originally posted by mml
We look back at leaders of the past and say "Where is our Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln?" Hell, most people did not know FDR was in a wheelchair!
Most people do know that because it's so often brought up as one of his peccadillos (sp. ?); as if that is something we should have torn apart in the past as a character flaw!

In my opinion, the reason people look and wonder where all the great leaders have gone is due to the tendency to romanticize the past--not because people have changed so much (either in terms of the leaders' character or the way the public deals with flaws).

I think we can look through various candidates and see how they were carefully picked apart by the other side, the media, and the public. What may have changed, however, is the proliferation of information. So while we had mass media last century, only the major cities or a metropolis was exposed to it; it also wasn't as infused into our culture as much as currently.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
Keep on rolling. It only hurts for a little while.
Location: wherever I am
I think my wife's grandfather said it best in a conversation we had a few weeks ago. He said everyon ealways talks about the good old days but he never wants to go back to having to walk outside to have to go to the shitter. He said he also remembers when a coke only cost a nickle but more often than not he didn't have the nickle.

People remember the good things from the past and block out the bad.
So, what's your point?

It's not an attitude, it's a way of life.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
Location: Wandering in the Desert of Life
Originally posted by smooth
Most people do know that because it's so often brought up as one of his peccadillos (sp. ?); as if that is something we should have torn apart in the past as a character flaw!
Smooth - I was refering to the time he was elected. Most of the U.S. population did not know FDR was crippled from polio. I was not trying to disparage(sp?) him, I was trying to point out how much the coverage of elected officials has changed. Frankly, FDR is one of my heroes. And you are right, we do tend to romanticize our past leaders.
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Old 01-29-2004, 02:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
John Kerry - Never saw a liberal bill he didn't like, and branded a Communist in the 70's. For half the country, this screams "unqualified". He has the history, the speaking ability, so on, but if you're only representing HALF the people, is that really good enough? I guess we'll see. Instead of having a president who pisses off half the people with his conservative, big-business attitude and warmongering, we'll have one who pisses off half the country with his liberal, pro-environment stances.

Dean - His remarkable shift in attitude shows he is absolutely not qualified. Yes, Mr. Dean, it's somehow Joe Trippi's fault that you shrieked so loud half the undecideds ran to John Kerry. I used to like Dean, but he's done. His reactionary behavior the last couple weeks have shown the early claims to be correct- he's not "calm" enough to be president.

Edwards - I like Edwards, so I'll try to badmouth him only a little. Ask most Americans who the least trustworthy people are, they'll tell you lawyers. Next? Politicians. How bout both? He's got 5 years in politics, and probably wouldn't win his Senate seat again. To a lot of folks, that's unqualified. He's still my favorite. Go Edwards!

Clark I already okay'd!

Lieberman - Well, this is really simple. If you don't have the confidence of 10% of Democrats and Independants to be our country's leader, even after being extremely high profile and very nearly vice president, chances are pretty good you shouldn't be. I won't bash him much, except to say he's the most Republican Democrat I've ever seen. I won't even begin to wonder the effect his election would have on US/Israel relations and all that is involved... because that would be pure speculation.

Oh yeah, he looks kinda like a Troll, too. And Kucinich looks like Gollum. Think it doesn't matter? Image is important.

I'm a Democrat, and a liberal one, in a lot of ways. I'd love to say all these guys are perfect, but they're not. I think they're better than Bush, but I'm not the one who needs convincing!
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Old 01-29-2004, 05:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
Location: VA
You asked if they were qualified or not. Not what the media thinks of him, or what partisans try to spin them as. Judging from your post you seem to buy into a lot of that spin, with a bit of personal attack thrown in for good measure (troll, gollum?!?). Give me a break, I expect better from my fellow Democrats.
"In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard. It's - and it's hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it's necessary work. We're making progress. It is hard work."
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Old 01-29-2004, 05:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The scrutiny one puts one's self under in running for public office automatically disqualifies most who have even thought of seeking public office. A succession of total crap in the office has made it all but impossible for anyone to be totally acceptable to anyone. In the past we have been satisfied with a man who was willing to do his best at the job of governing the country in spite of personal indiscretion.

When I was born FDR was president of the US. Depending on your political leaning he was everything from the greatest man ever born to a Communist/Socialist who was allowed to become dictator of the US. Death gave us the 22nd Amendment to insure no more FDRs, and Harry Truman.

Harry Truman became president in the very worst of times. He was a compromise VP who was made a candidate to get him out of the Senate. Truman was a tough, no nonsense man who made the slogan "the buck stops here" famous, and was probably the best President in modern history. He took the US through the remainder of WWII and captained the reconstruction of Europe.

After Truman came Dwight Eisenhower, a really nice guy who was smart enough to be a nice guy, smile for the camera, play a lot of golf, and leave government well enough alone as we enjoyed the prosperity of a post-war economy.

John F Kennedy - Some say that the Kennedy presidency gave proof to the belief that the office could be bought if you spent enough money - If Kennedy's private life had been scrutinized the way presidents are today, he wouldn't have lasted ten minutes. Assassination made Kennedy an American martyr and fate gave us LBJ.

Lyndon Johnson was an inept baboon whose basic claim to fame was in proving that the presidency can also be bought if your wife has enough money. Johnson and his cronies slogged us through the Viet-Nam era and proved once and for all that politicians should govern and leave the military well enough alone.

From Johnson, we went to Richard Milhous Nixon, a lack of color bland little man who, had he not been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, probably have been treated kindly by history. Whatever successes he enjoyed in foreign relations, and there were many, are probably never going to overcome the scandal and circumstance under which he left office.

Gerald Ford inherited the presidency, played some golf, bumped his head and tripped a time or two, and faded into the woodwork.

James Earl Carter replaced Ford. A Chevrolet would probably have been a better replacement. Carter had a bland presidency and a wild brother. Maybe if he'd had a little of his brother's get up and go he might have made a president. He has accomplished a lot more since leaving office than he did while president.

Finally a man with some life left in him, even if he was the oldest of all American presidents. Ronald Reagan was a man with scruples, morals, and honestly cared for his fellow man. Reagan was followed by his VP - George Bush who ran unopposed (for all practical purposes) against Dan Quayle (or was that quail?).

The rest has been history we'd probably be able to improve upon given the opportunity. Clinton gave us every possible thing that a president shouldn't be. A perfect example of how not to do it! Clinton is, in all probability, the reason no one will ever again be a truly acceptable candidate to the majority of the American people. It makes no difference at this point what anyone's feelings are on the circumstances surrounding the election of 2000. Neither candidate would have been acceptable to at least 52.7943% of the American people. Few will fess up to having voted for either one of them but questions why the other got a single vote
Life isn't always a bowl of cherries, sometimes it's more like a jar of Jalapenos --- what you say or do today might burn your ass tomorrow!!!

Last edited by Liquor Dealer; 01-29-2004 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 01-29-2004, 06:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
How is stating physical appearance a personal attack? Every newspaper in the United States runs editorial cartoons that overblow the candidates' most minor physical negatives. Bill Clinton, a man who seems to have no problem with the ladies, if often depicted as a slow-eyed, red-nosed overweight man (in other words, Boris Yeltsin), but saying Kucinich looks like Gollum is an attack? Have you SEEN him?

Raise your hand if you haven't heard George Bush looks like a monkey. Do the same if you haven't seen his lack of proper speech/grammar mocked. We WILL mock our leaders. Physical appearance and ability to communicate ARE considerations for a strong leader, whether you like it or not. When's the last time you saw "Braveheart" starring Danny DeVito or "Gladiator" with George Wendt in the title role? As a people, we expect our leaders to reflect our society, and our society IS obsessed with looks, just as it is with political correctness and flagwavery. George Washington's PICTURE is on the dollar bill, not his policies.

And how exactly am I buying into "spin"? Kerry, while I may agree with some of his policies, was associated with Communist-involved organizations in 1971. Dean has completely lost it in the past week. People *do* dislike lawyers and politicians. People *don't* like Joe Lieberman.

I'm not buying into the spin, you're creating more spin! I'm talking cold reality!

I'm not even gonna touch the assertion that Bill Clinton did everything wrong. Partisan much?
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Old 01-29-2004, 06:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
Location: VA
OK, "stating physical appearance" does not equal "Troll, Gollum"

I have heard people say Bush looks like a monkey, and Clinton looks like a buffoon. I like it when people say that, because it makes it easy for me to group them into the Kindergarten Room of American Politics.

I agree with your assessment that Dean lost it this week. As did Lieberman.

edit:"associated with communist-involved organizations" sounds a whole lot like "weapons of mass destruction-related activities" to me.

Here's logic for those who aren't following along:
Traitor Bitch visits North Vietnam, makes anti-American comments, returns to America, donates to Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Kerry later speaks to Senate on behalf of VVAW, Kerry = Communist.

Sorry, I'm getting a compiler error.
"In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard. It's - and it's hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it's necessary work. We're making progress. It is hard work."

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Old 01-29-2004, 07:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I was giggling at the Kuchinich/gollum comments when it occurred to me that Lincoln also looked trollish.

But the original poster is right, not only must you be a leader now, you must look good while doing it on television (as shown by the Kennedy/Nixon debates).
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C. S. Lewis

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Old 01-30-2004, 09:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Not exactly the correct point re: Kerry and Communism.

"Kerry was a vocal supporter of the "People's Peace Treaty," a supposed "people's" declaration to end the war, reportedly drawn up in communist East Germany. It included nine points, all of which were taken from Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communist) peace proposals at the Paris Peace Talks as conditions for a United States retreat from the Vietnam War."
(Vietnam Veterans against John Kerry)

Keep in mind, I said "branded a Communist". This is not an implication that he was a registered Communist, traitor, nothing of that nature, just a simple fact. More Americans recall Jane Fonda's history regarding Vietnam than her performance in "On Golden Pond"... this is the society we live in. Clinton was branded a bad president because he fooled around. Folks are branded all the time, and if a considerable portion of the country thinks you've been a Commie at one point in your life, that likely does disqualify you from leading the nation... especially if you're so liberal half the country wouldn't vote for you from the start.

I have nothing personal against Kerry. I don't think he'll win, although if he partners with Edwards or Clinton, who knows. My original point was that we cannot find a guy who "half the country thinks is a joker". Kerry fits the bill of my criticism, and that was my point. Is it simply our hyper-partisanship that dictates our belief in leadership? It might be. I'd love to think that there was a leader in our populace who MORE than the slight majority would fall on their sword for- a person that both ideological opposites would say is a "great man" without a qualifier. It is quite possible to disagree with a man and still think he's a great man, is it not?

As Americans, we consistently think we're the most well-informed folks in the world, and routinely prove ourselves wrong.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Oh, yeah... Lincoln did look trollish. I guess in retrospect, Lieberman looks more gnome-ish than trollish. Apologies to Senator Joe!

For the record, Google returns 170,000 results when searching "george bush monkey" and only 411 results when searching "dennis kucinich gollum". And this at the height of Rings-mania! Perhaps I'm too hard on the congressman. Then again, if only 1% of New Hampshireites voted for him, folks might just have no clue who he is.
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