Tag Archives: clinton

The Cain Train goes off the rails

Herman Cain, we hardly knew yeI predict by the end of the week we will see a statement like this from the Cain Train:

“As you know, from my repeated and vociferous denials of every doing anything wrong, inappropriate or even less than brilliant — at any point, ever — that my candidacy for president has rattled some people.  They remain desperately afraid of a black, businessman moving into the White House.  They know I can win, and neither the Democratic machine, nor some of the other GOP campaign, can let that happen.  

“Both my wife, Gloria, and I remain convinced that Herman Cain is exactly what the doctor ordered to lead this great country at this time in history.  While the persistent rumors and allegations about me don’t bother me at all, as I know they are not true, the toll they are taking on my wife is another story.  I don’t want to give in to these fear mongerers and mud slingers but after meeting with the joint chiefs of my campaign, we determined these attacks will keep coming so I am ending my current campaign for the GOP nomination.

“Herman Cain will be back.  Maybe as soon as next year — I will base my decision to run as an Independent on whether I can get Donald Trump to run with me.  If that doesn’t work out, he is unpredictable and not nearly the handsome rascal Rick Perry is — or that I am — this is not the last presidential run for the Cain Train.

“Thank you for your support, God bless you, God bless America and God bless Godfather’s Pizza.”

Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you for…

1.  The US Constitution:  It is easy to look at the recent Congressional failures, and the “super

The US Constitution, it rocks

committee” is only the most recent, and think “our system is broken.”  It isn’t.  Flawed, yes.  Injured, probably.  Broken, no.  One thing that has always confused me is why some people, upset by the results of the 2008 presidential campaign, preferred to think that we had entered the “end of days” rather than entertain the idea that they lost an election.  You see, I have some perspective on this.  I worked on the Gore 2000 campaign.  I was devastated by the result but I never — not once — considered George W. Bush to be anything but a legitimate president.  My belief in our system got me through that loss.  When you work on campaigns, sometime you lose.  It sucks but that’s part of the deal.

The other part of the equation is the recognition that as great as our system is, it is a tool.  No tool is better than the people who use it.  our representative democracy, otherwise known as a republic, reflects us.  If we do not like the results it produces, we have no one but ourselves to blame.   I have written several letters to the Washington Post about George Will.  He claims to be both a proponent of capitalism and an opponent of public broadcasting.  And yet, he hates reality TV.  I think you cannot argue that the free market is the best method to produce quality anything and then be angry when it produces crap.  The same can be said of our government. As Bill Clinton used to say, There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America.  Amen, brother.

2. The Mets.  Do I hate to love them or love to hate them?  Clearly the former.  Oh, they break my heart every year.  I am not going to write any more right now about that, I need a break from hating myself.

3. Reality TV.  Jersey Shore.  Hoarders.  Anything with people who weight more than 500 pounds.  We all know why we watch; we want to feel better about our own lives and I am no different.  No, I don’t want to see wealthy, vain housewives spend more in an afternoon on napkins than I spend in a year on rent but  I like that as dirty as my apartment may get, I don’t have goats eating holes in my walls.  Oh, and I can stand up and walk around.  Seriously, your family cooks 12 chickens a day for you?  Do they deliver your heroin, too?  See?  I am clearly a disturbed person.

4. The GOP candidates for president.  About two years ago, I called Michele Bachmann’s office.  I said, “Look, I am not a constituent but I would love it if she ran for president.”  I did not add, because I write comedy and that would be awesome, I figured it was implied. I had no idea Herman Cain even existed.

Seriously, I am thankful for the Constitution but I am infinitely more thankful for my friends and family.  Thank you for being so awesome.

You know who you are.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Kind of ironic bok title, huh?

Kind of ironic book title, huh?

Herman Cain, aka the pizza magnate and current flavor of the month in the GOP POTUS candidate, has made some interesting choices and statements. He seems to think running for president and selling books are not mutually exclusive activities.

To give him his due, the Cain campaign has bought a lot of his books so he is definitely selling a ton while running for president. And Governor Sarah Palin would tell you her VP run and the speculation about her possible 2012 run did not hurt her book sales but just because you can do something, does not mean you should.

This is not an anti-capitalist view I am trying to promote. Sell as many books as want but it seems a little unseemly to use a presidential run to do it. Any presidential campaign is really a multi-month (or year) job interview for the most (or one of) important jobs in the country. Nothing a candidate does will really prepare anyone to be president (and it’s not supposed to, you should be qualified to run before you make that decision) but it does give the nation a chance to get to know the would be candidates. This is not a time to bring anything but your A game. When you think about that, is this really the time to split your energy between running and doing anything else?

Running for president is hard. Not has hard as being the leader of the free world but it is hard. That’s why I criticized Cenk Uygar when he said that Mike Huckabee was “too fat and happy” to run. I have a lot of respect for people who admit that it takes a lot of time and energy to run and there are no guarantees. Good for you, Governor.

Governor Rick Perry has learned how much harder it is to run for national office (I believe he thought that his track record in Texas would prepare him better for the presidential race) than any state-wide. That’s one of the reasons he has said he may not take part in upcoming debates (not that his underwhelming performances have had any role, seriously, if you cannot stay awake past 8:00 pm, how can you be president?).

Congresswomen Michele Bachmann has learned this, too. Maybe that’s why her New Hampshire staff all quit in a huff. Maybe she thought she could make up facts as she goes along in this campaign the way she does every other time she opens her mouth but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as she thought.

So we come back to the current front-runner (in national polls, though, not the state polls, where it matters more), Herman Cain. It is worth noting that the title of this post could also refer to Godfather’s pizza. With all due respect to Chicago deep dish pizza lovers, you can theoretically make pizza outside of New York, but why would you?

Full disclosure, which is pretty obvious to anyone who has met me or read what I write, I am a liberal Democrat and have every intention of voting for President Obama. Having said that, I think having two robust parties and a vigorous discussion about where we want the country to go, is in everyone’s best interest. I was really impressed when Governor Chris Christie said that he believes in “small government, lower taxes and less regulation,” not because I agree with ANY of that, in fact I do NOT, but that’s where our conversation should be.

Herman Cain is not advancing our political discourse at all. His economic plan (the “9/9/9” or “9/0/9”) would be disastrous. His ignorance of foreign policy is scary. It is his lack of interest in running for office, while he runs, that bothers me the most. With little or no campaign infrastructure, few details on his policy proposals and a general laissez-faire attitude towards the process, I am left with the thought that if he doesn’t care about his campaign, why should anyone?

It’s all about expectations

Our national pastime is not baseball, though I wish it was. Our national pastime is building people up to bring them back down. As Jon Stewart said on his iconic Crossfire appearance, “I don’t know much about democracy, I have only lived in this country” I don’t know if this is something other cultures do. We love it.

Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan. Barack Obama. Even DC Mayor Adrian Fenty.

1. Mayor Fenty – possibly a victim of his own success, was a phenom. The youngest mayor in DC history, he was the post-racial symbol of how far the city had come. From several decades ago when there was no ‘home rule’ to Marion Barry, this has been a wild ride. And Marion Barry had a tagline before ‘the bitch set me up.’ Before he said that, he was popular for creating jobs. His later mantra was one of redemption; a message too many people here can relate to. And then we got Anthony Williams. Maybe Adrian Fenty is as much a victim of Anthony Williams’ competence as his own. It should be noted that Mr. Williams was not perfect either – he had to be write in candidate when his campaign workers could not procure enough legal signatures – but he was a good mayor. “At least he’s not a crack head,” was no longer good enough. And then we all met Adrian Fenty. Sporting three blackberries he seemed really interested in a dialogue with the city. I was moving when he approached me. I was impressed and went out of my way to vote for him. My expectations were too high. He was a good mayor and yet I voted for Vincent Grey because, as I told WJLA, Mayor Fenty was not the person I expected him to be. Despite the fact that the schools got better, crime went down and the city has a great new bike program. I just didn’t like him. Sorry.

2. President Barack Obama faces a similar dilemma. He promised ‘change you can believe in’ and people expected monumental things. He has actually delivered. Remember, when he entered the White House he had a series of what I like to call ‘Himalayan problems’ – each one is gigantic alone but seen with the others, they appear smaller. The worst economy since the Depression. Two wars. Global warming. The Gulf spill. And he got heath care reform passed. He got financial reform passed. He may have saved the economy with stimulus that was a third tax cuts, not that anyone knows that. He may be able to blame Bill Clinton for his problems. I always said Bill Clinton may have been Al Gore’s biggest problem; and not for the reasons you are thinking. Bill Clinton is brilliant. Absolutely, amazingly brilliant. The problem he is also ‘Bubba’ — the guy who feels your pain and you want to have a beer with. Do not, even for a millisecond, this that is criticism, I would jump in front of a bullet for Bill Clinton. The problem is that many voters in 2000 saw Al Gore and George W. Bush as Bill Clinton split in two; you had the nerd who knew everything and the normal guy you wanted to hang with. We all know how that movie ended. And so as our nation faces this great dilemma, one of the worst crises since our inception, we don’t want a professor – though we need one – we want a guy who gets us. We expected an inspirational figure and we got an intellectual.

3. George W. Bush may have been the best thing to happen for people on the right. I made fun of him as much as anyone, it was easy. At the end of the day, George W. Bush is not the idiot the left made him out to be. Did you know he got better grades at Yale than Senator Kerry? Look it up. He is so smart because he maybe the political equivalent of Keyser Soze, whose greatest gift (or it was the devil) was ‘convincing the world he didn’t exist.’ He made us all believe that if he showed up somewhere and didn’t drool on himself, he had done good that day. And what has that legacy been? Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell and Rand Paul. Oh, and Sharon Angle. There are others but it makes me to depressed to think about it. The left dismisses these candidates at our peril.

And so it’s all about building people up to tear them down. I both love that and hate it. Being human, and one of the snarkiest people I know, I kind of like it when some arrogant person gets what they deserve. Being someone who supports competency in government, it bothers me because President Obama has done some amazing things and gotten no real credit while George W. Bush sent us to a war we didn’t need and destroyed the economy but rather than going grey with worry like Obama, he gets to play golf all day. It’s not fair.

Of course, neither is life and that’s why I don’t regret my vote for Vincent Grey. Hope my expectations for him are low enough for me not to be disappointed.