Thursday, November 01, 2007


Republicans in New Hampshire

On Wednesday morning, NPR had an item about the Republican front-runners and their campaigns in New Hampshire. Three quotes struck me in it.

Mitt Romney, speaking in Manchester on Monday:

I think Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama or John Edwards would take America on a sharp left turn, with big government, big taxes, and Big Brother running your lives.
Hello, Mitt. [Knock, knock...] Is anyone home, up there? Does anyone really not see Big Brother “running our lives” now, in the Bush administration? What kind of delusion does it take to think that any of the Democratic candidates will create any more of a “Big Brother” government than the one that’s on the way out?

Next, we have two more in the “voting for the wrong reason” category. Let’s hear from Susan Miller, as she compares Mr Giuliani with Mr Romney:

The issue of his [Giuliani’s] three marriages is, for me, who’s been married for 36 years, that’s an issue with me. I do like Mitt; I think he’s an honest man, I think he’s committed to his family.
Honest is good, yes. But, um... you’re going to pick the president based on how much he’s committed to his family, and reject someone because he’s been divorced twice? “Yeah, that’s it for me. Forget about what they stand for, what their policies are, what they plan to do. I’ve been married for 36 years, and I want my president to have been too.” Wo.

Brad Thorpe has the opposite leaning, and for a different reason. Mr Thorpe goes for the “beer buddy” approach:

Sometimes Mitt comes away a little too polished, and Rudy is able to laugh and make fun of different... seems to be more earthy.
“Earthy”, yes, thank you, Brad, that is the term I’ve been searching for. That’s the quality that I most look for in a president. Don’t all of you? “Polished”, bad. “Earthy”, good. “Presidential”, ah, well, who cares?

1 comment:

Ray said...

While I'm quite sure you are as dismayed as I am at this attitude, I'm equally sure you can't be surprised by it, either. After all, we've endured nearly seven years of the most benighted presidency in history (so this is what they mean by the seven-year itch), during which I have heard countless times how good it is to have a 'good Christian' in the White House, and how he is 'one of the boys' - an essential attribute of someone who has to deal with other world leaders, I'm sure you will agree. I still recall how astonished I was (and I ought to have known better) to hear the comparison made between Kerry and Bush that the latter would make a much better president because he was 'one of the boys', and not an intellectual powerhouse.

Sadly, it has come to pass that those in power are chosen not for their abilities, but for their appearance, their stand on parochial (pun intended) issues, and whether or not they wear a particular lapel pin. Trivialised is the word that sums it up.

One wonders whether people who choose their representatives and leaders on such issues should even be allowed to vote... but the alternative is potentially more dangerous. It sure would be nice, though, to see the news media force the candidates to address real issues, and to hold their feet to the fire now and again. Perhaps then we might begin to see a return to real, meaningful government.