Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We’re looking for leadership. Will anyone rise to presidential challenge?

This past weekend, I stumbled across a question posted by a Facebook “friend” asking people who they would choose for president – IF the choice is a matter of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., or Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Personally, I said I would sooner lead a write-in campaign for the “friend,” who is a former competitor from my days as a Springfield reporter-type person.

BECAUSE THE IDEA of an Indianapolis-based radio personality as president makes about as much sense as any of the other scenarios being pitched out to the public.

For I don’t have a clue as to who will wind up actually running for president in the 2016 election cycle to replace Barack Obama. There isn’t anybody coming forth who is going to capture the spirit and emotions of the public (at least the portion that isn’t ideologically-inclined to still view Obama as some sort of “socialist”).

Former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state Hillary R. Clinton has been lingering for so long as the presumptive presidential candidate for the Democratic Party that I can’t help but think most people are sick and tired of hearing about her possible campaign.

Did she do herself in by waiting so long to state her intentions that nobody cares anymore what she does?

WHAT MAKES THIS particular election cycle for president intriguing is not just that Chicago will lose its personal tie to the White House, it is that Vice President Joe Biden isn’t the automatic choice of Democrats to succeed Obama.

I expect Biden will run for the post. But can he win? Would anybody get excited at the thought of a President Biden? Or would he create the kind of electoral excitement amongst would-be Democratic voters that led to the overwhelming Republican victories in this year’s election cycle. A Monmouth University poll shows Biden with only 2 percent support (compared to 48 percent for Hillary).

On the Republican side, I have heard the names of “Jeb Bush,” “Haley Barbour,” “Newt Gingrich,” “Bobby Jindal,” “Rick Perry” and “Marco Rubio,” along with former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels – who might well attract the attention of what’s left of the Illinois Republican establishment, which often acts as though it wishes they could be Hoosiers.

The Republican National Committee is doing a straw poll trying to gauge support for presidential dreamers, and has 34 different names on its ballot, according to the Washington Times newspaper.

MY POINT BEING that in such a large sea, the ideological rants of Cruz could easily catch on with just enough Republican people that he winds up becoming the front-runner.

Cruz vs. Warren isn’t the biggest fantasy in the world, except for the fact that Warren herself said Monday during an interview with NPR that, “I’m not running for president.”

That is, unless the lack of a clear candidate arouses her ego to the point where she decides to change her mind. It wouldn't be a political first!

Because you also know that the moment Hillary does make it public what her intentions are, all the goodwill her name brings up now will dissipate, and the ideologues’ rants and memories of the Clinton presidential administration (“Hide the girls, Bill Clinton’s back in the White House,” is the image they will repeat over and over) will predominate the public debate.

PERSONALLY, IT’S ALL going to make me reminisce more fondly for the days of Obama. That’s how stupid the rhetoric is going to get between the presidential dreamers.

Which is why I can joke about the notion of “Abdul-Hakim Shabazz” as president. Anybody who knew him when he was a broadcaster in Springfield, or who now listens to him in Indianapolis, knows he has the over-bloated ego to be a public official.

Along with a sense of decency as a human being that many in our society – including those who actually will run for president – are totally lacking.


No comments: