It's been a long time since I've stirred up some shinola around here, but I need to vent. After watching Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speak today, it became abundantly clear to me. The United States cannot ever again elect a President who is not a good public speaker. Chavez, who is a close, personal friend of another often misguided, but entertaining speaker, Ozzie Guillen, railed against President Bush referring to the "sulfur(ous) smell" that Bush had left from his appearance at the UN the day before.
Now Chavez is loony on many levels, but just like another scary leader, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he has real charisma when speaking. Not to go Thomas Friedman here, but in the global economy that we've chosen to live in, we have to rely more than just on our muscle to market our products to other countries. The President is our biggest sales person and George W. Bush has made us a laughing stock to most of the world. I know that Bush has been successful to many of our nation's brain dead playing the "I'm your big daddy and I will protect you from the baddy-bads who want to hurt you", but the real truth is he has even failed on the terrorism front and on most other issues, he is an outright failure.
Now, don't take this for a rant against the Republican party. While I think the party that has been in total power the past 6 years has done a miserable job of governing, as they've spent money like a 14 year-old girl with her first credit card, I do believe there are capable Republican's who fill the bill for what we need to help to begin getting us out of the diplomatic mess we are in with the rest of the planet. John McCain and Chuck Hagel are 2 men who possess the type of personality and rugged individulism that this country is desperate for. While I don't agree with their views on some major issues, they at least would bring some intelligence and wit back to the oval office.
The Democratic Party has been a bad joke ever since Bill Clinton left office. Al Gore and John Kerry not only didn't have the guts to speak from their hearts (instead blindly following what pollsters told them to say), but they also had so little charisma that they allowed the worst Presidential candidate of my lifetime to squeak out victories against them. (I say squeak because both elections would have produced a tainted winner, no matter who was victorious.) Not only have the Democratic presidential candidates lacked personality, but the current leaders of the senate and the house are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Not exactly Lyndon Johnson or Tip O'Neill in the force of nature departments.
Just like the Republicans, though, the Democrats do have some candidates with the type of verve and intelligence to begin to steer us back from the abyss that this current administration has led us. Joesph Biden, Bill Richardson, and John Edwards are men who have the mix of intelligence and charisma that the United States needs from its leader.
John Kerry seems to be talking about wanting to run again. Dude, no one wants you back. Kerry reminds me of the guy who goes into a bar and asks a woman if "I can buy you a drink." She replies "No", to which he says, "Well then how about us hitting the dance floor." "Sorry, I'm not interested" is her second brush off. Kerry would be the guy then who would take these first 2 rejections as the perfect opportunity for him to say, "Oh, I get it. You want to go back to my place so we can get it on!"
Dude, even though our ex-boyfriend (Bush) was an idiot and treated us badly, half us still went back with him because you were such a boring first date. You had your chance and you were unable to make us laugh and at the end of the date the warmest thing you could manage was a firm handshake. Sorry, but there are better prospects, so John Kerry, quit calling us!
Finally, you know I have made no mention of Hillary. I'm not a big fan of the former first lady and don't believe she has the type of charisma that the next occupant needs. She is such a devisive figure, which after 8 years of this type of split among the nation under Bush, I don't think would be healthy to continue. The one thing that does make her more attractive than the others is that Bill Clinton would come as part of the package.
I was in my very suburban neighborhood tonight, when one of the neighbor kids tripped over a box sitting on the driveway. He started crying and began to blame one of his friends who was right there for "not warning him." The crying boy's Dad said that his son never takes the blame for anything. I offered that it's this trait that might make him President of the United States. The neighborhood men who were there laughed and a couple of them simultaneouly both went into a "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" impression.
I replied that I long for the days when a hummer was the worst thing that we had to worry about. You know, when the stock market was booming, the deficit was non-existent, and we had the respect of most of the world. Before thejuiceblog was even around and we were writing at a different site than the Toaster, politics was discussed pretty regularly. Over the past couple of years it has disappeared because quite frankly, it's seems kind of pointless to debate many of the poor decisions that the Bush administration has made. Even most thoughtful Republicans know that the direction the country is going is not healthy. Kind of like being a Cubs fan. You love your team, but it still doesn't mean you don't want to fire the manager.
I know I've been pretty simplistic in my thoughts about what quality is the most important in our next President, but we have reached a point where we need a President who is both dynamic and intelligent. Fortunately for our country, the politicians who fit this category are not ruthless dictators like Chavez and Ahmadinejad. Our best choice would be to strike down the 22nd amendment and re-elect Bill Clinton, but since that won't happen; I will take my chances with the people I've mentioned. I just wish the election was tomorrow because another 15 months of the Skipper (Cheney) and Gilligan (Dubya) are only going to create a bigger hole for the next occupant.