If I'm elected God...
By Thomas Lindaman
Seriously, who gives a flying handshake about Hillary planting questions in the audience? At the risk of sounding like a teenager getting caught doing something I shouldn't be, everybody or just about everybody does it. George W. Bush has done it. FEMA did it not too long ago. And Hillary's done it since she announced she was running for Senate in 2000. It's no big deal. And for the record, no, I wouldn't jump off the side of a cliff just because everybody was doing it.
There are three reasons politicians are planting people and questions at campaign stops. One, it makes them look far more intelligent on issues. Two, it helps them craft an overall message for each stop and make it look like it just happened to be that way. And three, it cuts down on the likelihood that they'll be surprised by…an honest question! Ultimately, each reason revolves around the politicians' ego, which they prize more heavily than Gollum treasured Frodo's ring from "The Lord of the Rings." And while we're on the subject, doesn't Dennis Kucinich kinda look like Gollum? I'm just sayin'…
Politicians today think they have to try to be all things to all possible voters, especially when those politicians are leading in the polls. Hillary Clinton's doing this as we speak, meeting average people and trying to convince them that her fake sincerity is genuine. I've seen Hillary on video at some of these events and she gives off a vibe like she would rather be on The O'Reilly Factor answering questions from Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, and Ken Starr than shaking hands and kissing babies. And when you're running for President, you really shouldn't be trying to make voters dislike you. Look at what it did to Al Gore and John Kerry.
For the Republicans, Mitt Romney is just as slick. He has all the things Republicans look for these days: conservative bonafides, good looking, good looking family, articulate, smart, religious, and on the right side of important issues like illegal immigration and the war in Iraq. He's good…maybe a little too good. He reminds me a little of Bill Clinton in that he has the right combination of good looks, seemingly sound policies, and charm to go far in politics. But unlike the former President, Romney seems to be able to keep his pants on around the steno pool.
The funny thing is that most voters today don't expect our politicians to be perfect. We want somebody who knows what he or she is doing or at least appears to know what he or she is doing. We see politics the same way people see making hot dogs: we don't need to know how they're made, so long as they cook up nice, big, and juicy on the grill. Most politicians have completely misread the tea leaves on what voters want out of a candidate. We don't want you to run for God; we want you to run to be the leader of one nation under God. Besides, the position of God has already been filled by George Burns.
Right now, there are three candidates who I feel are genuine (which means they probably won't get their respective party's nomination) and they are Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson. Each man speaks to what make this country great, and even though I don't agree with all of their positions, I walk away from hearing them thinking, "There's a man who I could vote for." Then I think, "Why don't the other candidates pick up on what these guys are doing and start being more open and honest with us?" Then I think, "You know, a burger sounds pretty good right about now." Then, I go off to get a burger and forget why I was thinking about politics in the first place.
So, I urge Mitt, Hillary, and the rest of the disingenuous cavalcade of politicians to drop the act and be straight with us. We don't expect you to know all the answers, but we do expect you to know where to find them if you don't know. In the end, that's really what matters. We don't expect you to be perfect, just good enough. And given that we let Bill Clinton lead us for 8 years and came within a few hanging chads of electing Al Gore President, that bar is set pretty low.
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and NewsBull.com. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of CommonConservative.com.