A topic of conversation at nearly every event I have attended since the presidential rat race began is each political party’s presidential candidates. Invariably, whenever someone mentions one of the current front runners in either party, someone else in the gathering objects because of that particular candidate’s alleged baggage. Every candidate in the field has baggage in their political or personal past that offends someone else. There are no perfect candidates running for president on either side of the political spectrum. It’s unfortunate, but it is reality.
Here are some examples of how the baggage claims usually unfold.
Hillary Clinton’s baggage is her husband Bill Clinton and her ill-conceived, socialized HillaryCare program that she now wants to resurrect if she becomes president. Barack Obama’s parents may or may not have enrolled him in a Muslim school early in his life; he is too inexperienced; his great-great-great-great maternal grandfather owned slaves. John Edwards made his millions as a trial lawyer; he wants to resurrect the war on poverty and he now thinks he speaks for Jesus on the state of American compassion.
On the Republican baggage carousel, Rudy Giuliani has been married too many times; he’s not socially conservative enough; and his grown son does not think he was a good dad. John McCain is too old; he’s divisive and, if you believe the push-polling from the 2000 South Carolina primary race, he adopted a black child. Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper on the social issues; he’s Mormon; and his hair is too perfectly groomed.
We have to elect a president, so pick the one whose baggage offends you the least. But try to select a candidate with a history and prospect of leadership. If we try real hard to remember that the presidential candidates are human and as fallible as the rest of us, we might identify something about each to suggest the qualities required to lead and inspire our country.
Hillary Clinton’s number one priority is universal, socialized health care. Her second priority is to take corporate profits to pay for it. Barack Obama’s number one priority is universal, socialized health care, although his political rhetoric is not as divisive as most of his opponents. John Edwards’ number one priority is universal, socialized health care. His second priority is a not-so-unifying theme of Two Americas.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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