Who will carry the day, those presidential candidates who smoothly rely on—and parrot—their speechwriters and pollsters or those who are more natural and spontaneous, down to earth, funny, able to laugh at themselves, and political convention, able to share their dreams and fears, if not a tear or two, in each case hopefully with some degree of consistency from day to day?
The remarkable popularity of Bernie Sanders’ unreconstructed socialism and Donald Trump’s unfiltered populism suggest that today’s electorate is craving “authenticity.” Though miles apart ideologically, both of these insurgents promise to tell it like it is, while their rivals strike many voters as calculating, crafted and too reliant on spin doctors.
Marco Rubio, is beautifully manicured and articulate to a fault. Call him Dr. Spin. But President?
Ben Carson is funny, sometimes even intentionally. He could truly be a stand-up comedian. But President?
Ted Cruz is one smart dude, but close to being too darn . . . dogmatic. And he, too, like Donald Trump, is prone to the occasional bad hair day. If elected, Trump will move to the center, but not Cruz. If I was in a fight, of all of the candidates, on either side of the aisle, I’d want Cruz representing me. No hesitation there at all, not for a second. But President?
How about Chris Christie? Best known for his tough-guy persona, did you know he has quite the vulnerable side to him as well? Campaigning in a low end looking bar in the freezing Iowa snow last week, Christie held rapt those gathered round him. It was like he had nowhere else to be, or to go. Nor apparently did those listening to him. I’m not sure who left first.
Christie talked about the fear of losing his wife on 9/11. (She was working near the World Trade Center. He couldn’t raise her on her phone for several hours, and was beside himself.) “What am I going to do without my best friend? What kind of single dad am I going to be?” He joked about his weight. (So when he said he was beside himself, that was quite a stretch past his waistline beside himself.) He talked about saying goodbye to his mother as she lay dying of cancer. He was the only one in the saloon that night to raise the subject of “Bridgegate.” He claimed not to know what was going on while it was going on, “but those were my guys. It happened on my watch.” He was obviously a lot more willing to own his responsibilities than Hillary Clinton, who has yet to find any fault with herself whatsoever. (And she’s certainly had plenty of opportunities.) Must be nice to be perfect. And to have all that money too, even if not as much as Michael Bloomberg. (Patience. More on Bloomberg below.) Clinton’s problem is that her ego exceeds her money. If it didn’t she’d just find a nice beach and curl up with a good book. (And it would no doubt probably be classified, emailed to the reading app on her personal smart phone.) Why in the world does Hillary need all this grief, you know even all the left elitist media belatedly starting to take one pop shot at her after another, on top of her more conservative opponents? Ego, that’s why. Hillary just wants to be like Bill. (Knock it off, this is a G rated family website, I wasn’t going there at all.)
But we were talking about Christie, not Hillary. As Christie best describes himself, “I’m like a fungus. I grow on people.” I have to admit, he has grown on me. (I tried to find a cartoon image of a fungus to use in this blog, but The Wife rejected every copyright-free image of a fungus that I located. “That’s gross,” she said.)
And the other declared candidates? Who?
Okay, that brings us—(Big) gulp—to Bloomberg. Well, just how does he factor into all of this? In my mind, that is. To answer that, we have to go back up to the beginning of this blog.
Those who can follow their spin doctors or those who can wing it and come across as a bit more like you and me? Well, at least like me.
Many think Reagan was one of our most presidential . . . Presidents. At least in a long while. Even some on the left side of the aisle acknowledge this. Why? Because Reagan could do both, stick to the scripts written for him, but make it seem like he wrote them himself, or that he didn’t even need any. Now that’s presidential. (He was an actor for decades. No Oscars, but he did win a Golden Globe.)
Bloomberg strikes me as coming pretty darn close to that, presidential, except for the part about coming across just like you and me. He needs a little work on that. But not all that much. Just needs to give away enough of his billions to get down to Trump’s level. Or should I say Hillary’s level? How much have she and Bill squirreled away in that family foundation anyway? You know. For a rainy day. And while Cruz comes across as . . . slick, Bloomberg comes across as . . . silky smooth. You wouldn’t catch Bloomberg questioning the resolve and characteristics of those who rebuilt New York post 9/11. Even Trump knew how to play that one.
I wanted to say that Bloomberg could possibly be our dark horse or perhaps our white knight, but that just didn’t seem politically correct, not even using both expressions side by side. So, I won’t say that even if there are those who talk about Oreo cookies and Black and Whites as well.
And, (not?) speaking of dark horses and white knights, whatever happened to Newt Gingrich? As smart as Cruz, as articulate as Rubio, as funny as Carson (well, not Johnny, but at least Ben), and sporting a much better looking pompadour hairdo than Trump. But, not as thick skinned or as much money as Clinton. Or he’d probably still be right there in the middle of things.
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