In Search of the Perfect Candidate
I have read many articles lamenting the lack of good presidential candidates. TV commentators have been shaking their heads in disgust. Magazine covers mock the various contenders. According to the media, the Republican Party just cannot seem to produce a decent candidate. Someone of integrity, leadership, and vision.
To be the perfect candidate…
You must be bursting with charisma and energy although catching only two hours of sleep a night in a rolling bus. To look like a million bucks while not spending $500,000 on your one-day-only designer clothes wardrobe. To eat at fundraiser dinners and exclusive receptions yet stay healthy and in good shape. To be attractive without being either ditsy or vain. To be confident and command respect without talking about yourself too much or coming across conceited and condescending. To know everything that is going on in the world; yet not forget what life is like for the soccer mom and Joe, the plumber.
You must have a fool-proof plan to fix a broken economy without raising taxes or cutting benefits. (A magic eraser for the national debt would be great.) You must know how to create jobs without feeding corporate greed. You must have a head for business—and a heart for old people and puppy dogs.
You must be able to give interesting speeches on topics that most Americans don’t care a thing about; or even understand. To be right, all of the time. To have a clear message without being repetitive. To have experience (without any unhealthy political ties) and a voting record that shuts the mouth of even Rachel Maddow. To not be divisive, but not be a "flip flop." And you must make the other candidates look like idiots without slinging mud.
You must be able to deal with immigration without hurting anyone’s feelings. To support our military while making the world a place where a military is not needed. You must know the capital of every country in the world (and how to spell “tomato.”) To work around the clock and not burn out; to always come up smiling.
You must have the charm of John Edwards (but not the other stuff), the grace of the Apostle Paul, the looks of Sarah Palin (…but please, NOT HER). You must have the ingenuity of Bill Gates, the wit of Yogi Berra, the work ethic of Thomas Edison, the loyalty of Davey Crockett, the honesty of Abraham Lincoln, the wisdom of Solomon, and the experience of George Washington (after his two terms in office)…Oh, and not be a white male.
You must have a fresh message and you must give us HOPE. The other four hundred and some politicians in Washington are just making a mess, and we are counting on YOU to straighten it out.
In four years.
And somehow, in all your wonderfulness, you must find a way to stand out from all the other candidates. To convince Americans to support your campaign who think they are patriotic when they buy fireworks on the Fourth of July.
You must be willing to live without an inch of privacy, to have every rock in your life kicked over. To take the blame for everything that goes wrong in the world for the next four years and to be constantly reminded that you don’t deserve the credit for anything that goes right. To be criticized for hour after hour on talk radio and television by smart people who have the luxury of having a whole staff at their disposal to search for inaccuracies in your statements and smart responses to your dumber moments. To be reminded—for the rest of your life—of mistakes that you made. Or mistakes anyone close to you made. To be told what to do by the experts in every discipline. Basically, everyone.
All things considered, the job doesn’t pay very well.
But, we promise….
If you won't scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won't hide your spectacles
So you can't see
Put toads in your bed
Or pepper in your tea
Jane and Michael Banks
Maybe, just maybe, she will come flying in.