. . . that this country's future is in big trouble based on our current choices for presidential candidates.
If you weren't already convinced of the downfall of America being upon us with the election and re-election of someone so utterly clueless and completely unqualified to lead as Barack Obama, taking even a cursory look at the current choices for president looming in 2016 should do it.
I mean, seriously?
Let's run through my admittedly biased impressions of today's clown car passengers (both Republican and Democrat), shall we?
Hillary Clinton - Hands down, the most dishonest person to ever run for President in my lifetime. The good news, if there is any, is that the American public appears to be beginning to see what many of us always knew about her. Add to that her poor leadership skills and lack of any real accomplishments, and you have what just might be a worse choice than Barack Obama was. Her lack of leadership and inability to address simple details got 4 Americans, including her own ambassador, killed in Benghazi. Her almost pathological need for control caused her to create and maintain a private server for her documents which likely handled classified information that was backed up to unsecured off-site providers. Her flip-flopping is legendary (or would be so, if the media focused on it half as much as they did Mitt Romney's).
Dr. Ben Carson - Can someone say - snooze-fest? When I read some of the things he's said, they look good. The problem is I fall asleep every time I try to listen to him. He's the poster boy for verbal Valium. When you add in his complete lack of a leadership resume, he's a recipe for disaster. Could he get elected? Maybe. But I just don't see people going that extra mile for someone who has virtually no ability to rally the troops with campaign fire. I also think (and it will sound racist to some) that the Grand Experiment of electing a black man to the Presidency has been such a failure, that the voting public isn't ready for a Round 2 do-over just yet.
Bernie Sanders - You know, on some level he has some interesting ideas - if you believe the rhetoric. Taking care of our veterans. Cleaning up Wall Street. But you begin to wonder if this guy has such great ideas, why hasn't he ever gotten any significant legislation passed with his name on it after serving over 20 years in either the Congress or Senate? Don't we elect leaders to actually get something done while in office? What does this say about his ability (or lack thereof) of working with people from all sides to get something accomplished? Add to that, he has some very Socialist ideas about what the government should be paying for, like college education and health care for everyone, with absolutely ZERO realistic plans to pay for them. On a personal note, he also comes across as a flake.
Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum - These guys are just in it for the religious right agenda, and not much else. One was a pretty successful governor of a rather small state, and one was a pretty ineffectual and downright lousy Senator. Only one can get the Christian Conservative vote, and neither has any traction outside of that small voting bloc.
Jeb! Bush - Possibly the worst campaigner in the entire race, eclipsing even Hillary Clinton in that regard. Jeb's problem is that there are actually multiple other choices for Republicans to choose from, so his name recognition and record (which wasn't bad in Florida) is lost in all the background noise. This is not to say he'd be a great choice for the GOP should he last into the later primaries - he's too bland and I'm not sure he really stands for anything that he wouldn't be willing to compromise away, but he should be doing better than he is right now.
Carly Fiorina - This is one candidate who actually intrigues me. OK, I'm concerned about her lack of any elected office; there's a certain benefit in knowing first-hand how the legislative process works, especially given the arcane and sometimes exasperating rules by which our Congress operates. And I'm not as worried about her stint as the CEO of HP. While the short-term performance of her polices didn't look very good, they have largely panned out following her departure. But I love her passion, I like her focus on the important issues, and even when she veers into some social policy like funding for Planned Parenthood, she sticks to specific problem harvesting organs and tissue, rather than the right to choose. She's also not afraid to take on Hillary and would neuter the left's transparently planned War on Women argument should Hillary be nominated.
Donald Trump - Just a hot, steaming pile of embarrassment for the GOP. Actually pretty inarticulate when pressed for details on his agenda, which might be why he refuses to engage in them. That, or he just hasn't thought them through in the first place. The sooner he gets out, the better for GOP prospects one year from now.
Chris Christie - The one-time darling of the GOP has been, rightly or wrong, tarnished by Bridgegate. Did he know? Probably not, given no evidence that has come to light thus far. Should he have known? Regardless of it being New Jersey, putting people who might think that political payback of this type was acceptable shows some pretty poor judgement on his part. I do like his blunt way of speaking, however.
John Kasich - Why hasn't this guy gotten more traction? He is far and away the most accomplished elected official in the entire race, has great approval ratings in a national bell-weather state, and has proven history of working with both sides of the aisle. Yeah, he's not exactly Mr. Excitement on the stump, but got the resume that other candidates and our current Disaster-in-Chief would salivate over. If we could merge Kasich and Fiorina via some weird science experiment, I'm all for it.
Rand Paul - Nobody has worse hair than Donald Trump, but Paul is not that far behind as a solid # 2 in that regard. I really like his Libertarian leanings, but his foreign policy posture won't play well in an era of international terrorism.
Martin O'Malley - The Democrat who was so bad as governor, his Lt. Governor was rejected by the voters in the very Democratic state of Maryland for a Republican. Enough said.
The rest of the field doesn't rate any comments from me, except to say, "Please get out so we can concentrate on a manageable few".
What do you think?
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.