Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hiring A President

We vote for presidential candidates without knowing who they really are.

Sure, I know that supposedly there is a lot of information out there about the candidates, their past, and their views on the issues. But, it is very hard to get a sense of what kind of person they are. Also, most of the information is either carefully orchestrated image building, or venomous character attacks of partisan snipers from the opposing party. For example, Hillery Clinton is either the savior of our country or a devious and conniving witch. I can not make up my mind about her or a lot of the other candidates! Also, I am fairly well educated, a prolific reader, and a news junkie. The information I am looking for is either not there or hiding in plain sight among a lot of just plain junk. Unfortunately, I don't trust the image I have of the candidates. I have learned that the image is too often carefully orchestrated and polished having little, or nothing, to do with who the person actually is. This is particularly vexing when there are so many people viaing for their parties nomination.

I remember that after Bob Dole's disastrous presidential bid, against Bill Clinton in 1996, something mysterious happened. The stiff and awkward candidate disappeared and was replaced by a witty and much more relaxed persona. He seemed human and a lot of the people I talked to back then commented on what a positive impression he had made after the fact. Many said that had he come across as positively during the election they would have voted for him. Was this a "new" Bob Dole or the real Bob Dole that had been hidden from view by the mechanisms of his campaign organization?

We have all these job applicants who want to run the most powerful country in the world during a time when America's place in the world is evolving (thanks in part to a big push by George Bush). It is an understatement to say it is an important decision. The one bright spot is that the debates seem to be helping now that the strangle hold by the League of Women Voters has been broken. The sheer number of debates has made it increasingly harder to put up a false front and we are beginning to see the facade crack and peel allowing us to catch a glimpse of what is under all that pancake makeup.

No comments: