With the first Presidential debate history and the GOP’s darling Mitt on a roll, it’s time to turn my attention to a little politics. This race is unique as the players (Mitt and Barack and their families) are pretty “even” in the Madison Avenue department– both sides are a handsome group that look worthy of the Presidential palace that is the White House. Usually, the “good-looking” factor is easily decided as candidates can only minimally change their appearance. During the Kennedy-Nixon contest, Pat and Tricky were outmatched in the beauty contest voting by Jack and Jackie. The following elections from 1964 to 1972 pitted a myriad of “ugly stick” victims such as Johnson, Nixon, Goldwater, Humphrey, and McGovern.
Old, wrinkled countenances aside, the political viewpoints from Kennedy’s day are far afield from today’s. JFK’s call to “Ask not what your country and do for you!” is now a voting begging “How can I get the middle class to vote for me?”and the chasm between democrats and republicans is wider than in any time in the history of the United States. Few of today’s politicians are willing to stray across the aisles of Congress to improve this nation and the world, as the attitudes of both politicians and constituents alike are concerned with one question, “What’s in it for me?”
The 2012 Presidential election candidates for the United States are more alike than different. Of the Republican candidates throwing their hats into the ring, Mitt Romney was the least desirable for the Republicans at the time. The conservative, bible-beaters didn’t want him. Now that Mitt’s on top, the GOP big wigs, little wigs, middle class wigs, and the bible salesmen are shouting, “Oh! Yeah!” Truth be known, good old Mitt is almost as liberal as good old Barack. In the past, Mitt defended his views on a national health care program like the one he pushed through in Massachusetts, women’s rights, and tax cuts for the middle class (please include the working stiffs, too!). He never supported tax cuts for the rich. If this were 1960, Mitt Romney would be an excellent choice to be the running mate of John F. Kennedy. Much better than the one actually in the history books and Mitt would never hold up a beagle by his ears!
Mitt’s changed, though, as the first debate proved. President Obama was beaten up in the ring by Mitt Romney not by the things he said, but by those things he didn’t. Mitt was on the attack, and the President wasn’t. While four years ago, people liked that approach, it’s not working now. Too bad for Mitt that the debates don’t get you a few electoral votes before the election. History demonstrates that no presidential debate ever changed the course of an election, even the famed Kennedy and Nixon debates. While Nixon held a small lead in the poll numbers, Kennedy gained more voters in August when the press asked President Eisenhower about the number of decisions in the White House impacted by Nixon. “If you give me a week, I might think of one” Ike replied and the damage was done! Perhaps the donkeys and the elephants could get along if we just placed the executive staff by the number of actual votes. Say, Mitt gets the most votes, he’s President, Barack gets the second greatest number of votes and he’s Vice-President! Maybe they could switch every two years! It might make for a warm and fuzzy election. As it is now, they sure are nasty!